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  1. Manifestly Covariant Lagrangians, Classical Particles with Spin, and the Origins of Gauge Invariance.Jacob Barandes - manuscript
    In this paper, we review a general technique for converting the standard Lagrangian description of a classical system into a formulation that puts time on an equal footing with the system's degrees of freedom. We show how the resulting framework anticipates key features of special relativity, including the signature of the Minkowski metric tensor and the special role played by theories that are invariant under a generalized notion of Lorentz transformations. We then use this technique to revisit a classification of (...)
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  2. Can Magnetic Forces Do Work?Jacob Barandes - manuscript
    Standard lore holds that magnetic forces are incapable of doing mechanical work. More precisely, the claim is that whenever it appears that a magnetic force is doing work, the work is actually being done by another force, with the magnetic force serving only as an indirect mediator. However, the most familiar instances of magnetic forces acting in everyday life, such as when bar magnets lift other bar magnets, appear to present manifest evidence of magnetic forces doing work. These sorts of (...)
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  3. Is the world made of loops?Alexander Afriat - 2013
    In discussions of the Aharonov-Bohm effect, Healey and Lyre have attributed reality to loops $\sigma_0$ (or hoops $[\sigma_0]$), since the electromagnetic potential $A$ is currently unmeasurable and can therefore be transformed. I argue that $[A]=[A+d\lambda]_{\lambda}$ and the hoop $[\sigma_0]$ are related by a meaningful duality, so that however one feels about $[A]$ (or any potential $A\in[A]$), it is no worse than $[\sigma_0]$ (or any loop $\sigma_0\in[\sigma_0]$): no ontological firmness is gained by retreating to the loops, which are just as flimsy (...)
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  4. Why Yang-Mills theories?Alexandre Guay - 2006
    The elucidation of the gauge principle ``is the most pressing problem in current philosophy of physics" Redhead. This paper argues two points that contribute to this elucidation in the context of Yang-Mills theories. 1) Yang-Mills theories, including quantum electrodynamics, form a class. They should be interpreted together. To focus on electrodynamics is a mistake. 2) The essential role of gauge and BRST surplus is to provide a local theory that can be quantized and would be equivalent to the quantization of (...)
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  5. The arbitrariness of local gauge symmetry.Alexandre Guay - 2004
    This paper shows how the study of surpluses of structure is an interesting philosophical task. In particular I explore how local gauge symmetry in quantized Yang-Mills theories is the by-product of the specific dynamical structure of interaction. It is shown how in non relativistic quantum mechanics gauge symmetry corresponds to the freedom to locally define global features of gauge potentials. Also discussed is how in quantum field theory local gauge symmetry is replaced by BRST symmetry. This last symmetry is apparently (...)
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  6. Geometrical aspects of local gauge symmetry.Alexandre Guay - 2004
    This paper is an analysis of the geometrical interpretation of local gauge symmetry for theories of the Yang-Mills type.
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  7. How to Teach General Relativity.Guy Hetzroni & James Read - forthcoming - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science.
    Supposing that one is already familiar with special relativistic physics, what constitutes the best route via which to arrive at the architecture of the general theory of relativity? Although the later Einstein would stress the significance of mathematical and theoretical principles in answering this question, in this article we follow the lead of the earlier Einstein (circa 1916) and stress instead how one can go a long way to arriving at the general theory via inductive and empirical principles, without invoking (...)
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  8. Comparativist Theories or Conspiracy Theories: the No Miracles Argument Against Comparativism.Caspar Jacobs - forthcoming - Journal of Philosophy.
    Although physical theories routinely posit absolute quantities, such as absolute position or intrinsic mass, it seems that only comparative quantities such as distance and mass ratio are observable. But even if there are in fact only distances and mass ratios, the success of absolutist theories means that the world looks just as if there are absolute positions and intrinsic masses. If comparativism is nevertheless true, there is a sense in which it is a cosmic conspiracy that the world looks just (...)
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  9. Abandoning Galileo's Ship: The quest for non-relational empirical significance.Sebastián Murgueitio Ramírez & Nicholas Teh - forthcoming - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science.
    The recent debate about whether gauge symmetries can be empirically significant has focused on the possibility of 'Galileo's ship' types of scenarios, where the symmetries effect relational differences between a subsystem and the environment. However, it has gone largely unremarked that apart from such Galileo's ship scenarios, Greaves and Wallace (2014) proposed that gauge transformations can also be empirically significant in a 'non-relational' manner that is analogous to a Faraday-cage scenario, where the subsystem symmetry is related to a change in (...)
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  10. The Promise of Supersymmetry.Enno Fischer - 2024 - Synthese 203 (6):1-21.
    Supersymmetry (SUSY) has long been considered an exceptionally promising theory. A central role for the promise has been played by naturalness arguments. Yet, given the absence of experimental findings it is questionable whether the promise will ever be fulfilled. Here, I provide an analysis of the promises associated with SUSY, employing a concept of pursuitworthiness. A research program like SUSY is pursuitworthy if (1) it has the plausible potential to provide high epistemic gain and (2) that gain can be achieved (...)
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  11. Gauge Symmetries, Symmetry Breaking, and Gauge-Invariant Approaches.Philipp Berghofer, Jordan François, Simon Friederich, Henrique Gomes, Guy Hetzroni, Axel Maas & René Sondenheimer - 2023 - Cambridge University Press.
    Gauge symmetries play a central role, both in the mathematical foundations as well as the conceptual construction of modern (particle) physics theories. However, it is yet unclear whether they form a necessary component of theories, or whether they can be eliminated. It is also unclear whether they are merely an auxiliary tool to simplify (and possibly localize) calculations or whether they contain independent information. Therefore their status, both in physics and philosophy of physics, remains to be fully clarified. In this (...)
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  12. Mathematical Analogies in Physics: The Curious Case of Gauge Symmetries.Guy Hetzroni & Noah Stemeroff - 2023 - In Carl Posy & Yemima Ben-Menahem (eds.), Mathematical Knowledge, Objects and Applications: Essays in Memory of Mark Steiner. Springer. pp. 229-262.
    Gauge symmetries provide one of the most puzzling examples of the applicability of mathematics in physics. The presented work focuses on the role of analogical reasoning in the gauge argument, motivated by Mark Steiner’s claim that the application of the gauge principle relies on a Pythagorean analogy whose success undermines naturalist philosophy. In this paper, we present two different views concerning the analogy between gravity, electromagnetism, and nuclear interactions, each providing a different philosophical response to the problem of the applicability (...)
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  13. The metaphysics of fibre bundles.Caspar Jacobs - 2023 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 97 (C):34-43.
    Recently, Dewar (2019) has suggested that one can apply the strategy of 'sophistication' - as exemplified by sophisticated substantivalism as a response to the diffeomorphism invariance of General Relativity - to gauge theories such as electrodynamics. This requires a shift to the formalism of fibre bundles. In this paper, I develop and defend this suggestion. Where my approach differs from previous discussions is that I focus on the metaphysical picture underlying the fibre bundle formalism. In particular, I aim to affirm (...)
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  14. Are Models Our Tools Not Our Masters?Caspar Jacobs - 2023 - Synthese 202 (4):1-21.
    It is often claimed that one can avoid the kind of underdetermination that is a typical consequence of symmetries in physics by stipulating that symmetry-related models represent the same state of affairs (Leibniz Equivalence). But recent commentators (Dasgupta 2011; Pooley 2021; Pooley and Read 2021; Teitel 2021a) have responded that claims about the representational capacities of models are irrelevant to the issue of underdetermination, which concerns possible worlds themselves. In this paper I distinguish two versions of this objection: (1) that (...)
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  15. The gauge argument: A Noether Reason.Henrique Gomes, Bryan W. Roberts & Jeremy Butterfield - 2022 - In James Read & Nicholas J. Teh (eds.), The physics and philosophy of Noether's theorems. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. pp. 354-377.
    Why is gauge symmetry so important in modern physics, given that one must eliminate it when interpreting what the theory represents? In this paper we discuss the sense in which gauge symmetry can be fruitfully applied to constrain the space of possible dynamical models in such a way that forces and charges are appropriately coupled. We review the most well-known application of this kind, known as the 'gauge argument' or 'gauge principle', discuss its difficulties, and then reconstruct the gauge argument (...)
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  16. A Puzzle Concerning Local Symmetries and Their Empirical Significance.Sebastián Murgueitio Ramírez - 2022 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 73 (4):1021-1044.
    In the last 5 years, the controversy about whether or not gauge transformations can be empirically significant has intensified. On the one hand, Greaves and Wallace developed a framework according to which, under some circumstances, gauge transformations can be empirically significant—and Teh further supported this result by using the constrained Hamiltonian formalism. On the other hand, Friederich claims to have proved that gauge transformation can never be empirically significant. In this article, I accomplish two tasks. First, I argue that there (...)
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  17. Logical Foundations of Local Gauge Symmetry and Symmetry Breaking.Yingrui Yang - 2022 - Journal of Human Cognition 6 (1):18-23.
    The present paper intends to report two results. It is shown that the formula P(x)=∀y∀z[¬G(x, y)→¬M(z)] provides the logic underlying gauge symmetry, where M denotes the predicate of being massive. For the logic of spontaneous symmetry breaking, by Higgs mechanism, we have P(x)=∀y∀z[G(x, y)→M(z)]. Notice that the above two formulas are not logically equivalent. The results are obtained by integrating four components, namely, gauge symmetry and Higgs mechanism in quantum field theory, and Gödel's incompleteness theorem and Tarski's indefinability theorem in (...)
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  18. On Magnetic Forces and Work.Jacob A. Barandes - 2021 - Foundations of Physics 51 (4):1-17.
    We address a long-standing debate over whether classical magnetic forces can do work, ultimately answering the question in the affirmative. In detail, we couple a classical particle with intrinsic spin and elementary dipole moments to the electromagnetic field, derive the appropriate generalization of the Lorentz force law, show that the particle's dipole moments must be collinear with its spin axis, and argue that the magnetic field does mechanical work on the particle's elementary magnetic dipole moment. As consistency checks, we calculate (...)
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  19. Gauge Invariance for Classical Massless Particles with Spin.Jacob A. Barandes - 2021 - Foundations of Physics 51 (1):1-14.
    Wigner's quantum-mechanical classification of particle-types in terms of irreducible representations of the Poincaré group has a classical analogue, which we extend in this paper. We study the compactness properties of the resulting phase spaces at fixed energy, and show that in order for a classical massless particle to be physically sensible, its phase space must feature a classical-particle counterpart of electromagnetic gauge invariance. By examining the connection between massless and massive particles in the massless limit, we also derive a classical-particle (...)
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  20. I ain’t afraid of no ghost.John Dougherty - 2021 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 88 (C):70-84.
    This paper criticizes the traditional philosophical account of the quantization of gauge theories and offers an alternative. On the received view, gauge theories resist quantization because they feature distinct mathematical representatives of the same physical state of affairs. This resistance is overcome by a sequence of ad hoc modifications, justified in part by reference to semiclassical electrodynamics. Among other things, these modifications introduce "ghosts": particles with unphysical properties which do not appear in asymptotic states and which are said to be (...)
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  21. Gauge and Ghosts.Guy Hetzroni - 2021 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 72 (3):773-796.
    This article suggests a fresh look at gauge symmetries, with the aim of drawing a clear line between the a priori theoretical considerations involved, and some methodological and empirical non-deductive aspects that are often overlooked. The gauge argument is primarily based on a general symmetry principle expressing the idea that a change of mathematical representation should not change the form of the dynamical law. In addition, the ampliative part of the argument is based on the introduction of new degrees of (...)
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  22. Invariance or equivalence: a tale of two principles.Caspar Jacobs - 2021 - Synthese 199 (3-4):9337-9357.
    The presence of symmetries in physical theories implies a pernicious form of underdetermination. In order to avoid this theoretical vice, philosophers often espouse a principle called Leibniz Equivalence, which states that symmetry-related models represent the same state of affairs. Moreover, philosophers have claimed that the existence of non-trivial symmetries motivates us to accept the Invariance Principle, which states that quantities that vary under a theory’s symmetries aren’t physically real. Leibniz Equivalence and the Invariance Principle are often seen as part of (...)
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  23. Large gauge transformations and the strong CP problem.John Dougherty - 2020 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 69:50-66.
    According to the Standard Model of particle physics, some gauge transformations are physical symmetries. That is, they are mathematical transformations that relate representatives of distinct physical states of affairs. This is at odds with the standard philosophical position according to which gauge transformations are an eliminable redundancy in a gauge theory's representational framework. In this paper I defend the Standard Model's treatment of gauge from an objection due to Richard Healey. If we follow the Standard Model in taking some gauge (...)
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  24. The non-ideal theory of the Aharonov–Bohm effect.John Dougherty - 2020 - Synthese (12):12195-12221.
    Elay Shech and John Earman have recently argued that the common topological interpretation of the Aharonov–Bohm (AB) effect is unsatisfactory because it fails to justify idealizations that it presupposes. In particular, they argue that an adequate account of the AB effect must address the role of boundary conditions in certain ideal cases of the effect. In this paper I defend the topological interpretation against their criticisms. I consider three types of idealization that might arise in treatments of the effect. First, (...)
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  25. Relativity and Equivalence in Hilbert Space: A Principle-Theory Approach to the Aharonov–Bohm Effect.Guy Hetzroni - 2020 - Foundations of Physics 50 (2):120-135.
    This paper formulates generalized versions of the general principle of relativity and of the principle of equivalence that can be applied to general abstract spaces. It is shown that when the principles are applied to the Hilbert space of a quantum particle, its law of coupling to electromagnetic fields is obtained. It is suggested to understand the Aharonov-Bohm effect in light of these principles, and the implications for some related foundational controversies are discussed.
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  26. Logic of Gauge.Alexander Afriat - 2019 - In Carlos Lobo & Julien Bernard (eds.), Weyl and the Problem of Space: From Science to Philosophy. Springer Verlag.
    The logic of gauge theory is considered by tracing its development from general relativity to Yang-Mills theory, through Weyl's two gauge theories. A handful of elements---which for want of better terms can be called \emph{geometrical justice}, \emph{matter wave}, \emph{second clock effect}, \emph{twice too many energy levels}---are enough to produce Weyl's second theory; and from there, all that's needed to reach the Yang-Mills formalism is a \emph{non-Abelian structure group} (say $\mathbb{SU}\textrm{(}N\textrm{)}$).
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  27. Mathematical developments in the rise of Yang–Mills gauge theories.Adam Koberinski - 2019 - Synthese (Suppl 16):1-31.
    In this paper I detail three major mathematical developments that led to the emergence of Yang–Mills theories as the foundation for the standard model of particle physics. In less than 10 years, work on renormalizability, the renormalization group, and lattice quantum field theory highlighted the utility of Yang–Mills type models of quantum field theory by connecting poorly understood candidate dynamical models to emerging experimental results. I use this historical case study to provide lessons for theory construction in physics, and touch (...)
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  28. Parity violation in weak interactions: How experiment can shape a theoretical framework.Adam Koberinski - 2019 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 67 (64-77):64-77.
    In this paper I will focus on the case of the discovery of parity nonconservation in weak interactions from the period spanning 1947–1957, and the lessons this episode provides for successful theory construction in HEP. I aim to (a) summarize the history into a coherent story for philosophers of science, and (b) use the history as a case study for the epistemological evolution of the understanding of weak interactions in HEP. I conclude with some philosophical lessons regarding theory construction in (...)
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  29. Two Notions of Naturalness.Porter Williams - 2019 - Foundations of Physics 49 (9):1022-1050.
    My aim in this paper is twofold: to distinguish two notions of naturalness employed in beyond the standard model physics and to argue that recognizing this distinction has methodological consequences. One notion of naturalness is an “autonomy of scales” requirement: it prohibits sensitive dependence of an effective field theory’s low-energy observables on precise specification of the theory’s description of cutoff-scale physics. I will argue that considerations from the general structure of effective field theory provide justification for the role this notion (...)
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  30. Ontic structural realism and quantum field theory: Are there intrinsic properties at the most fundamental level of reality?Philipp Berghofer - 2018 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 62:176-188.
    Ontic structural realism refers to the novel, exciting, and widely discussed basic idea that the structure of physical reality is genuinely relational. In its radical form, the doctrine claims that there are, in fact, no objects but only structure, i.e., relations. More moderate approaches state that objects have only relational but no intrinsic properties. In its most moderate and most tenable form, ontic structural realism assumes that at the most fundamental level of physical reality there are only relational properties. This (...)
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  31. Idealizations, essential self-adjointness, and minimal model explanation in the Aharonov–Bohm effect.Shech Elay - 2018 - Synthese 195 (11):4839-4863.
    Two approaches to understanding the idealizations that arise in the Aharonov–Bohm effect are presented. It is argued that a common topological approach, which takes the non-simply connected electron configuration space to be an essential element in the explanation and understanding of the effect, is flawed. An alternative approach is outlined. Consequently, it is shown that the existence and uniqueness of self-adjoint extensions of symmetric operators in quantum mechanics have important implications for philosophical issues. Also, the alleged indispensable explanatory role of (...)
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  32. The Structures of Interactions: How to Explain the Gauge Groups U(1), SU(2) and SU.Thomas Görnitz & Uwe Schomäcker - 2018 - Foundations of Science 23 (1):51-73.
    It is very useful to distinguish between four types of interactions in nature: gravitation, and then electromagnetism, weak interaction and strong interaction. The mathematical structure of electromagnetism but also of weak and strong interaction could be understood as induced by a local gauge group. The associated groups are the unitary group in one dimension—U—for electromagnetism, the special unitary group in two dimensions—SU—for the weak interaction, and the special unitary group in three dimensions—SU—for the strong interaction. The essence of this article (...)
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  33. A philosophical look at the discovery the Higgs boson.Richard Dawid - 2017 - Synthese 194 (2):253-257.
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  34. The Invisibility of Diffeomorphisms.Sebastian De Haro - 2017 - Foundations of Physics 47 (11):1464-1497.
    I examine the relationship between \\)-dimensional Poincaré metrics and d-dimensional conformal manifolds, from both mathematical and physical perspectives. The results have a bearing on several conceptual issues relating to asymptotic symmetries in general relativity and in gauge–gravity duality, as follows: I draw from the remarkable work by Fefferman and Graham on conformal geometry, in order to prove two propositions and a theorem that characterise which classes of diffeomorphisms qualify as gravity-invisible. I define natural notions of gravity-invisibility that apply to the (...)
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  35. Comparing dualities and gauge symmetries.Sebastian De Haro, Nicholas Teh & Jeremy N. Butterfield - 2017 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 59:68-80.
    We discuss some aspects of the relation between dualities and gauge symmetries. Both of these ideas are of course multi-faceted, and we confine ourselves to making two points. Both points are about dualities in string theory, and both have the ‘flavour’ that two dual theories are ‘closer in content’ than you might think. For both points, we adopt a simple conception of a duality as an ‘isomorphism’ between theories: more precisely, as appropriate bijections between the two theories’ sets of states (...)
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  36. The Frame of Fixed Stars in Relational Mechanics.Rafael Ferraro - 2017 - Foundations of Physics 47 (1):71-88.
    Relational mechanics is a gauge theory of classical mechanics whose laws do not govern the motion of individual particles but the evolution of the distances between particles. Its formulation gives a satisfactory answer to Leibniz’s and Mach’s criticisms of Newton’s mechanics: relational mechanics does not rely on the idea of an absolute space. When describing the behavior of small subsystems with respect to the so called “fixed stars”, relational mechanics basically agrees with Newtonian mechanics. However, those subsystems having huge angular (...)
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  37. The missing piece of the puzzle: the discovery of the Higgs boson.Allan Franklin - 2017 - Synthese 194 (2):259-274.
    The missing piece of the puzzle: the discovery of the Higgs boson On July 4, 2012 the CMS and ATLAS collaborations at the large hadron collider jointly announced the discovery of a new elementary particle, which resembled the Higgs boson, the last remaining undiscovered piece of the standard model of elementary particles. Both groups claimed to have observed a five-standard-deviation effect above background, the gold standard for discovery in high-energy physics. In this essay I will briefly discuss the how the (...)
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  38. Target space ≠ space.Nick Huggett - 2017 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 59:81-88.
    This paper investigates the significance of T-duality in string theory: the indistinguisha- bility with respect to all observables, of models attributing radically different radii to space – larger than the observable universe, or far smaller than the Planck length, say. Two interpretational branch points are identified and discussed. First, whether duals are physically equivalent or not: by considering a duality of the familiar simple harmonic oscillator, I argue that they are. Unlike the oscillator, there are no measurements ‘outside’ string theory (...)
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  39. The variety of explanations in the Higgs sector.Michael Stöltzner - 2017 - Synthese 194 (2).
    This paper argues that there is no single universal conception of scientific explanation that is consistently employed throughout the whole domain of Higgs physics—ranging from the successful experimental search for a standard model Higgs particle and the hitherto unsuccessful searches for any particles beyond the standard model, to phenomenological model builders in the Higgs sector and theoretical physicists interested in how the core principles of quantum field theory apply to spontaneous symmetry breaking and the Higgs mechanism. Yet the coexistence of (...)
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  40. Higgs naturalness and the scalar boson proliferation instability problem.James D. Wells - 2017 - Synthese 194 (2):477-490.
    Sensitivity to the square of the cutoff scale of quantum corrections of the Higgs boson mass self-energy has led many authors to conclude that the Higgs theory suffers from a naturalness or fine-tuning problem. However, speculative new physics ideas to solve this problem have not manifested themselves yet at high-energy colliders, such as the Large Hadron Collider at CERN. For this reason, the role of naturalness as a guide to theory model-building is being severely questioned. Most attacks suggest that one (...)
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  41. On the Logical Origin of the Laws Governing the Fundamental Forces of Nature: A New Algebraic-Axiomatic (Matrix) Approach.R. Zahedi - 2017 - In National Institute for Mathematical Sciences (INSMI - CNRS) Publcs., Paris, FRANCE. pp. 1-89.
    In this article, as a new mathematical approach to origin of the laws of nature, using a new basic algebraic axiomatic (matrix) formalism based on the ring theory and Clifford algebras (presented in Sec.2), “it is shown that certain mathematical forms of fundamental laws of nature, including laws governing the fundamental forces of nature (represented by a set of two definite classes of general covariant massive field equations, with new matrix formalisms), are derived uniquely from only a very few axioms”; (...)
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  42. Sameness and Separability in Gauge Theories.John Dougherty - 2016 - Philosophy of Science 84 (5):1189-1201.
    In the philosophical literature on Yang-Mills theories, field formulations are taken to have more structure and to be local, while curve-based formulations are taken to have less structure and to be nonlocal. I formalize the notion of locality at issue and show that theories with less structure are nonlocal. However, the amount of structure had by some formulation is independent of whether it uses fields or curves. The relevant difference in structure is not a difference in set-theoretic structure. Rather, it (...)
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  43. Fundamentality, Effectiveness, and Objectivity of Gauge Symmetries.Aldo Filomeno - 2016 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 30 (1):19-37.
    Much recent philosophy of physics has investigated the process of symmetry breaking. Here, I critically assess the alleged symmetry restoration at the fundamental scale. I draw attention to the contingency that gauge symmetries exhibit, that is, the fact that they have been chosen from an infinite space of possibilities. I appeal to this feature of group theory to argue that any metaphysical account of fundamental laws that expects symmetry restoration up to the fundamental level is not fully satisfactory. This is (...)
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  44. A Categorical Equivalence between Generalized Holonomy Maps on a Connected Manifold and Principal Connections on Bundles over that Manifold.Sarita Rosenstock & James Owen Weatherall - 2016 - Journal of Mathematical Physics 57:102902.
    A classic result in the foundations of Yang-Mills theory, due to J. W. Barrett ["Holonomy and Path Structures in General Relativity and Yang-Mills Theory." Int. J. Th. Phys. 30, ], establishes that given a "generalized" holonomy map from the space of piece-wise smooth, closed curves based at some point of a manifold to a Lie group, there exists a principal bundle with that group as structure group and a principal connection on that bundle such that the holonomy map corresponds to (...)
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  45. Gravity and Gauge.Nicholas J. Teh - 2016 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 67 (2):497-530.
    Philosophers of physics and physicists have long been intrigued by the analogies and disanalogies between gravitational theories and gauge theories. Indeed, repeated attempts to collapse these disanalogies have made us acutely aware that there are fairly general obstacles to doing so. Nonetheless, there is a special case space-time dimensions) in which gravity is often claimed to be identical to a gauge theory. I subject this claim to philosophical scrutiny in this article. In particular, I analyse how the standard disanalogies can (...)
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  46. Galileo’s Gauge: Understanding the Empirical Significance of Gauge Symmetry.Nicholas J. Teh - 2016 - Philosophy of Science 83 (1):93-118.
    This article investigates and resolves the question whether gauge symmetry can display analogs of the famous Galileo’s ship scenario. In doing so, it builds on and clarifies the work of Greaves and Wallace on this subject.
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  47. Fiber bundles, Yang–Mills theory, and general relativity.James Owen Weatherall - 2016 - Synthese 193 (8).
    I articulate and discuss a geometrical interpretation of Yang–Mills theory. Analogies and disanalogies between Yang–Mills theory and general relativity are also considered.
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  48. Understanding Gauge.James Owen Weatherall - 2016 - Philosophy of Science 83 (5):1039-1049.
    I consider two usages of the expression "gauge theory". On one, a gauge theory is a theory with excess structure; on the other, a gauge theory is any theory appropriately related to classical electromagnetism. I make precise one sense in which one formulation of electromagnetism, the paradigmatic gauge theory on both usages, may be understood to have excess structure, and then argue that gauge theories on the second usage, including Yang-Mills theory and general relativity, do not generally have excess structure (...)
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  49. Unifying Geometrical Representations of Gauge Theory.Scott Alsid & Mario Serna - 2015 - Foundations of Physics 45 (1):75-103.
    We unify three approaches within the vast body of gauge-theory research that have independently developed distinct representations of a geometrical surface-like structure underlying the vector-potential. The three approaches that we unify are: those who use the compactified dimensions of Kaluza–Klein theory, those who use Grassmannian models models) to represent gauge fields, and those who use a hidden spatial metric to replace the gauge fields. In this paper we identify a correspondence between the geometrical representations of the three schools. Each school (...)
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  50. Does the Aharonov–Bohm Effect Occur?Mario Bunge - 2015 - Foundations of Science 20 (2):129-133.
    Aharonov and Bohm showed that, far from being merely a mathematical tool, the vector potential \ can have a microphysical effect even when irrotational, in which case the magnetic field is null. Still, at first sight there is something weird about this situation. Do we have to admit a new force? I argue that there is no paradox in the potentials-formulation of electrodynamics, for it shows that, while “\” represents a vanishing magnetic field, it alters the motion of charged matter (...)
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