Gauge Symmetries, Symmetry Breaking, and Gauge-Invariant Approaches

Cambridge University Press (2023)
  Copy   BIBTEX


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 overview we review the current state of affairs on both the philosophy and the physics side. In particular, we focus on the circumstances in which the restriction of gauge theories to gauge invariant information on an observable level is warranted, using the Brout-Englert-Higgs theory as an example of particular current importance. Finally, we determine a set of yet to be answered questions to clarify the status of gauge symmetries.



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 89,703

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

Gauge symmetry breaking in gauge theories—in search of clarification.Simon Friederich - 2013 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 3 (2):157-182.
Gauge invariant accounts of the Higgs mechanism.Ward Struyve - 2011 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 42 (4):226-236.
Does the Higgs mechanism exist?Holger Lyre - 2008 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 22 (2):119-133.
A Philosophical Look at the Higgs Mechanism.Simon Friederich - 2014 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 45 (2):335-350.
The empirical status of symmetries in physics.P. Kosso - 2000 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 51 (1):81-98.
Fundamentality, Effectiveness, and Objectivity of Gauge Symmetries.Aldo Filomeno - 2016 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 30 (1):19-37.
Are gauge symmetry transformations observable?Katherine Brading & Harvey R. Brown - 2004 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 55 (4):645-665.
The Elusive Higgs Mechanism.Chris Smeenk - 2006 - Philosophy of Science 73 (5):487-499.
Symétrie: Reflexions Sur les Formes Naturelles.Alexandre Guay - 2004 - Dissertation, Universite de Montreal (Canada)
Mass Generation by Weyl Symmetry Breaking.Wolfgang Drechsler - 1999 - Foundations of Physics 29 (9):1327-1369.


Added to PP

64 (#225,759)

6 months
18 (#103,828)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author Profiles

Guy Hetzroni
The Open University of Israel
Axel Maas
University of Graz

Citations of this work

No citations found.

Add more citations