PhilSci Archive

On the Reality of Gauge Potentials

Healey, Richard (2001) On the Reality of Gauge Potentials. [Preprint]


Download (392kB)
[img] Microsoft Word (.doc)

Download (110kB)


Classically, a gauge potential was merely a convenient device for generating a corresponding gauge field. Quantum-mechanically, a gauge potential lays claim to independent status as a further feature of the physical situation. But whether this is a local or a global feature is not made any clearer by the variety of mathematical structures used to represent it. I argue that in the theory of electromagnetism (or a non-Abelian generalization) that describes quantum particles subject to a classical interaction, the gauge potential is best understood as a feature of the physical situation whose global character is most naturally represented by the holonomies of closed curves in space-time.

Export/Citation: EndNote | BibTeX | Dublin Core | ASCII/Text Citation (Chicago) | HTML Citation | OpenURL
Social Networking:
Share |

Item Type: Preprint
Healey, Richard
Keywords: gauge potentials, gauge theories, quantum mechanics, electromagnetism, Aharonov-Bohm
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Physics > Fields and Particles
Specific Sciences > Physics
Specific Sciences > Physics > Quantum Mechanics
General Issues > Realism/Anti-realism
Depositing User: Richard Andrew Healey
Date Deposited: 19 Jul 2001
Last Modified: 07 Oct 2010 15:10
Item ID: 328

Monthly Views for the past 3 years

Monthly Downloads for the past 3 years

Plum Analytics

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item