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Gauge Matters

Earman, John (2001) Gauge Matters. [Preprint]


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The constrained Hamiltonian formalism is recommended as a means for getting a grip on the concepts of gauge and gauge transformation. This formalism makes it clear how the gauge concept is relevant to understanding Newtonian and classical relativistic theories as well as the theories of elementary particle physics; it provides an explication of the vague notions of "local" and "global" gauge transformations; it explains how and why a fibre bundle structure emerges for theories which do not wear their bundle structure on their sleeves; it illuminates the connections of the gauge concept to issues of determinism and what counts as a genuine "observable"; and it calls attention to problems which arise in attempting to quantize gauge theories. Some of the limitations and problematic aspects of the formalism are also discussed.

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Item Type: Preprint
Earman, John
Keywords: gauge theories constrained Hamiltonian systems
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Physics > Classical Physics
Specific Sciences > Physics > Fields and Particles
Specific Sciences > Physics > Relativity Theory
Date Deposited: 08 Jan 2001
Last Modified: 07 Oct 2010 15:09
Item ID: 70

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