Philosophy of Science 68 (3):S371-S381 (2001)

Authors
Holger Lyre
Otto von Guericke Universität, Magdeburg
Abstract
The aim of this paper is twofold: First, to present an examination of the principles underlying gauge field theories. I shall argue that there are two principles directly connected to the two well-known theorems of Emmy Noether concerning global and local symmetries of the free matter-field Lagrangian, in the following referred to as "conservation principle" and "gauge principle". Since both these express nothing but certain symmetry features of the free field theory, they are not sufficient to derive a true interaction coupling to a new gauge field. For this purpose it is necessary to advocate a third, truly empirical principle which may be understood as a generalization of the equivalence principle. The second task of the paper is to deal with the ontological question concerning the reality status of gauge potentials in the light of the proposed logical structure of gauge theories. A nonlocal interpretation of topological effects in gauge theories and, thus, the non-reality of gauge potentials in accordance with the generalized equivalence principle will be favoured.
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DOI 10.1086/392922
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References found in this work BETA

On the Reality of Gauge Potentials.Richard Healey - 2001 - Philosophy of Science 68 (4):432-455.
The Interpretation of Gauge Symmetry.Michael Redhead - 2003 - In Katherine A. Brading & Elena Castellani (eds.), Symmetries in Physics: Philosophical Reflections. Cambridge University Press. pp. 124--139.
Nonlocality and the Aharonov-Bohm Effect.Richard Healey - 1997 - Philosophy of Science 64 (1):18-41.
The Intelligibility of the Universe.Michael Redhead - 2001 - Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement 48:73-90.
The Gauge Argument.Paul Teller - 2000 - Philosophy of Science 67 (3):481.

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Citations of this work BETA

Holism and Structuralism in U(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.
Infinite Idealizations in Physics.Elay Shech - 2018 - Philosophy Compass 13 (9):e12514.
Does the Higgs Mechanism Exist?Holger Lyre - 2008 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 22 (2):119-133.
The Construction of the Higgs Mechanism and the Emergence of the Electroweak Theory.Koray Karaca - 2013 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 44 (1):1-16.

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