The empirical status of symmetries in physics

Symmetries in physics are most commonly recognized and discussed in terms of their function in the mathematical formalism of the theories. Discussion of the observation of symmetries in nature is less common. This paper analyses the observation of particular symmetries such as Lorentz and gauge symmetries, distinguishing between direct observation of the symmetry itself and indirect evidence, the latter being the observation of some consequence of the symmetry are, in an important sense, directly observed, while local symmetries such as gauge symmetry are not.
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DOI 10.1093/bjps/51.1.81
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H. Greaves & D. Wallace (2014). Empirical Consequences of Symmetries. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 65 (1):59-89.
Shamik Dasgupta (2016). Symmetry as an Epistemic Notion. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 67 (3):837-878.
David Yates (2013). The Essence of Dispositional Essentialism. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 87 (1):93-128.
Holger Lyre (2004). Holism and Structuralism in (1) Gauge Theory. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B 35 (4):643-670.
Richard Healey (2009). Perfect Symmetries. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 60 (4):697-720.

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