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A versus B! Topological nonseparability and the Aharonov-Bohm effect

Eynck, Tim Oliver and Lyre, Holger and Rummell, Nicolai von (2001) A versus B! Topological nonseparability and the Aharonov-Bohm effect. [Preprint]

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      Abstract

      Since its discovery in 1959 the Aharonov-Bohm effect has continuously been the cause for controversial discussions of various topics in modern physics, e.g. the reality of gauge potentials, topological effects and nonlocalities. In the present paper we juxtapose the two rival interpretations of the Aharonov-Bohm effect. We show that the conception of nonlocality encountered in the Aharonov-Bohm effect is closely related to the nonseparability which is common in quantum mechanics albeit distinct from it due to its topological nature. We propose a third alternative interpretation based on the loop space of holonomies which serves to solve some of the problems and we trace back the topological nonlocality and thereby the Aharonov-Bohm effect to their quantum mechanical origin. All three discussed interpretations are, of course, empirically equivalent. In fact, they present us with an instructive case study for the thesis of theory underdetermination by empirical data.


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      Item Type: Preprint
      Keywords: gauge theory, topology, holonomies, nonlocality, underdetermination
      Subjects: Specific Sciences > Physics > Fields and Particles
      Specific Sciences > Physics > Quantum Mechanics
      General Issues > Structure of Theories
      Depositing User: Holger Lyre
      Date Deposited: 14 Sep 2001
      Last Modified: 07 Oct 2010 11:10
      Item ID: 404
      URI: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/404

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