Gauge theories and holisms

Abstract
Those looking for holism in contemporary physics have focused their attention primarily on quantum entanglement. But some gauge theories arguably also manifest the related phenomenon of nonseparability. While the argument is strong for the classical gauge theory describing electromagnetic interactions with quantum “particles”, it fails in the case of general relativity even though that theory may also be formulated in terms of a connection on a principal fiber bundle. Anandan has highlighted the key difference in his analysis of a supposed gravitational analog to the Aharonov-Bohm effect. By contrast with electromagnetism in the original Aharonov-Bohm effect, gravitation is separable and exhibits no novel holism in this case. Whether the nonseparability of classical gauge theories of non-gravitational interactions is associated with holism depends on what counts as the relevant part-whole relation. Loop representations of quantized gauge theories of non- gravitational interactions suggest that these conclusions about holism and nonseparability may extend also to quantum theories of the associated fields.
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DOI 10.1016/j.shpsb.2004.07.003
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References found in this work BETA
Relational Holism and Quantum Mechanics.Teller Paul - 1986 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 37 (1):71-81.
Holism and Nonseparability.Richard A. Healey - 1991 - Journal of Philosophy 88 (8):393-421.
Are Rindler Quanta Real? Inequivalent Particle Concepts in Quantum Field Theory.Rob Clifton & Hans Halvorson - 2001 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 52 (3):417-470.
On the Reality of Gauge Potentials.Richard Healey - 2001 - Philosophy of Science 68 (4):432-455.
Symmetry and Gauge Freedom.Gordon Belot - 2003 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 34 (2):189-225.

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Citations of this work BETA
Holism and Structuralism in (1) Gauge Theory.Holger Lyre - 2004 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 35 (4):643-670.
Nonseparability, Classical, and Quantum.Wayne C. Myrvold - 2011 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 62 (2):417-432.
Which Gauge Matters?James Mattingly - 2006 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 37 (2):243-262.

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