Oxford University Press (2007)
|Abstract||Gauge theories have provided our most successful representations of the fundamental forces of nature. This book describes the representations provided by gauge theories in both classical and quantum physics. I defend the thesis that gauge transformations are purely formal symmetries of almost all the classes of representations provided by each of our theories of fundamental forces. Evidence for classical gauge theories of forces (other than gravity) gives us reason to believe that loops rather than points are the locations of fundamental properties. In addition to exploring the prospects of extending this conclusion to the quantum gauge theories of the Standard Model of elementary particle physics, I assess the difficulties faced by attempts to base such ontological conclusions on the success of these theories.|
|Keywords||Philosophy of Physics Metaphysics|
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