Abstract
Dirac's approach to gauge symmetries is discussed. We follow closely the steps that led him from his conjecture concerning the generators of gauge transformations {\it at a given time} ---to be contrasted with the common view of gauge transformations as maps from solutions of the equations of motion into other solutions--- to his decision to artificially modify the dynamics, substituting the extended Hamiltonian for the total Hamiltonian. We show in detail that Dirac's analysis was incomplete and, in completing it, we prove that the fulfilment of Dirac's conjecture ---in the ``non-pathological" cases--- does not imply any need to modify the dynamics. We give a couple of simple but significant examples
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1016/j.shpsb.2005.04.004
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 58,518
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Tracking Down Gauge: An Ode to the Constrained Hamiltonian Formalism.John Earman - 2003 - In Katherine Brading & Elena Castellani (eds.), Symmetries in Physics: Philosophical Reflections. Cambridge University Press. pp. 140--62.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Time Remains.Sean Gryb & Karim P. Y. Thébault - 2016 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 67 (3):663-705.
Change in Hamiltonian General Relativity From the Lack of a Time-Like Killing Vector Field.J. Brian Pitts - 2014 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 47:68-89.
Symplectic Reduction and the Problem of Time in Nonrelativistic Mechanics.Karim P. Y. Thébault - 2012 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 63 (4):789-824.

View all 11 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Gravity and Gauge Theory.Steven Weinstein - 1999 - Philosophy of Science 66 (3):155.
Are Gauge Symmetry Transformations Observable?Katherine Brading & Harvey R. Brown - 2004 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 55 (4):645-665.
A Cauchy-Dirac Delta Function.Mikhail G. Katz & David Tall - 2013 - Foundations of Science 18 (1):107-123.
Does the Higgs Mechanism Exist?Holger Lyre - 2008 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 22 (2):119-133.
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.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2010-09-01

Total views
82 ( #124,018 of 2,421,640 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
8 ( #88,031 of 2,421,640 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes