PhilSci Archive

The Arbitrariness of Local Gauge Symmetry

Guay, Alexandre (2004) The Arbitrariness of Local Gauge Symmetry. [Preprint]

This is the latest version of this item.


Download (188kB)


This paper shows how the study of surpluses of structure is an interesting philosophical task. In particular I explore how local gauge symmetry in quantized Yang-Mills theories is the by-product of the specific dynamical structure of interaction. It is shown how in non relativistic quantum mechanics gauge symmetry corresponds to the freedom to locally define global features of gauge potentials. Also discussed is how in quantum field theory local gauge symmetry is replaced by BRST symmetry. This last symmetry is apparently the result of the fact that we do not know how to define quantum Yang-Mills theories without unphysical gauge boson states. Since Yang-Mills theories describe successfully three of the four fundamental interactions the elucidation of this symmetry is a pressing philosophical question.

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

Item Type: Preprint
Guay, Alexandre
Additional Information: In this version, some references have been corrected.
Keywords: quantum physics; gauge symmetry; BRST symmetry
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Physics > Fields and Particles
Specific Sciences > Physics > Quantum Field Theory
Depositing User: Alexandre Guay
Date Deposited: 27 May 2007
Last Modified: 07 Oct 2010 15:15
Item ID: 3361

Available Versions of this Item

Monthly Views for the past 3 years

Monthly Downloads for the past 3 years

Plum Analytics

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item