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Profile: Alexander Afriat (Université de Bretagne Occidentale)
  1. Alexander Afriat (2013). Weyl's Gauge Argument. Foundations of Physics 43 (5):699-705.
    The standard $\mathbb{U}(1)$ “gauge principle” or “gauge argument” produces an exact potential A=dλ and a vanishing field F=d 2 λ=0. Weyl (in Z. Phys. 56:330–352, 1929; Rice Inst. Pam. 16:280–295, 1929) has his own gauge argument, which is sketchy, archaic and hard to follow; but at least it produces an inexact potential A and a nonvanishing field F=dA≠0. I attempt a reconstruction.
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  2. Alexander Afriat & Ermenegildo Caccese (2010). The Relativity of Inertia and Reality of Nothing. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B 41 (1):9-26.
    The determination of inertia by matter is looked at in general relativity, where inertia can be represented by affine or projective structure. The matter tensor T seems to underdetermine affine structure by ten degrees of freedom, eight of which can be eliminated by gauge choices, leaving two. Their physical meaning---which is bound up with that of gravitational waves and the pseudotensor t, and with the conservation of energy-momentum---is considered, along with the dependence of reality on invariance and of causal explanation (...)
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  3. Alexander Afriat (2008). How Weyl Stumbled Across Electricity While Pursuing Mathematical Justice. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B 40 (1):20-25.
    It is argued that Weyl’s theory of gravitation and electricity came out of ‘mathematical justice’: out of the equal rights direction and length. Such mathematical justice was manifestly at work in the context of discovery, and is enough (together with a couple of simple and natural operations) to derive all of source-free electromagnetism. Weyl’s repeated references to coordinates and gauge are taken to express equal treatment of direction and length.
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