Are gauge symmetry transformations observable?

Abstract
In a recent paper in this journal, Kosso ([2000]) discussed the observational status of continuous symmetries of physics. While we are in broad agreement with his approach, we disagree with his analysis. In the discussion of the status of gauge symmetry, a set of examples offered by 't Hooft ([1980]) has influenced several philosophers, including Kosso; in all cases the interpretation of the examples is mistaken. In this paper, we present our preferred approach to the empirical significance of symmetries, re-analysing the cases of gauge symmetry and general covariance. Direct and indirect empirical significance Global and local continuous symmetries Gauge symmetry 3.1 Local gauge symmetry 3.1.1 Discussion of the first claim 3.1.2 Discussion of the second claim 3.2 Global gauge symmetry Space-time symmetries Direct and indirect empirical significance again Conclusion.
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Citations of this work BETA
Richard Healey (2009). Perfect Symmetries. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 60 (4):697-720.
Alexandre Guay (2008). A Partial Elucidation of the Gauge Principle. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B 39 (2):346-363.
Ward Struyve (2011). Gauge Invariant Accounts of the Higgs Mechanism. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B 42 (4):226-236.
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