11 found
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  1.  91
    Holism as the empirical significance of symmetries.Henrique Gomes - 2021 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 11 (3):1-41.
    Not all symmetries are on a par. For instance, within Newtonian mechanics, we seem to have a good grasp on the empirical significance of boosts, by applying it to subsystems. This is exemplified by the thought experiment known as Galileo’s ship: the inertial state of motion of a ship is immaterial to how events unfold in the cabin, but is registered in the values of relational quantities such as the distance and velocity of the ship relative to the shore. But (...)
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  2.  30
    Gauging the boundary in field-space.Henrique Gomes - 2019 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 67:89-110.
    Local gauge theories are in a complicated relationship with boundaries. Whereas fixing the gauge can often shave off unwanted redundancies, the coupling of different bounded regions requires the use of gauge-variant elements. Therefore, coupling is inimical to gauge-fixing, as usually understood. This resistance to gauge-fixing has led some to declare the coupling of subsystems to be the \textit{raison d'\^etre} of gauge \cite{RovelliGauge2013}. Indeed, while gauge-fixing is entirely unproblematic for a single region without boundary, it introduces arbitrary boundary conditions on the (...)
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  3. The gauge argument: A Noether Reason.Henrique Gomes, Bryan W. Roberts & Jeremy Butterfield - 2022 - In James Read & Nicholas J. Teh (eds.), The physics and philosophy of Noether's theorems. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. pp. 354-377.
    Why is gauge symmetry so important in modern physics, given that one must eliminate it when interpreting what the theory represents? In this paper we discuss the sense in which gauge symmetry can be fruitfully applied to constrain the space of possible dynamical models in such a way that forces and charges are appropriately coupled. We review the most well-known application of this kind, known as the 'gauge argument' or 'gauge principle', discuss its difficulties, and then reconstruct the gauge argument (...)
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  4.  20
    Functionalism as a Species of Reduction.Jeremy Butterfield & Henrique Gomes - 2023 - In Cristián Soto (ed.), Current Debates in Philosophy of Science: In Honor of Roberto Torretti. Springer Verlag. pp. 123-200.
    This is the first of four papers prompted by a recent literature about a doctrine dubbed spacetime functionalism. This paper gives our general framework for discussing functionalism. Following Lewis, we take it as a species of reduction. We start by expounding reduction in a broadly Nagelian sense. Then we argue that Lewis’ functionalism is an improvement on Nagelian reduction.This paper sets the scene for the other papers, which will apply our framework to theories of space and time. (So those papers (...)
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  5.  23
    Back to Parmenides.Henrique Gomes - unknown
    After a brief introduction to issues that plague the realization of a theory of quantum gravity, I suggest that the main one concerns defining superpositions of causal structures. This leads me to a distinction between time and space, to a further degree than that present in the canonical approach to general relativity. With this distinction, one can make sense of superpositions as interference between alternative paths in the relational configuration space of the entire Universe. But the full use of relationalism (...)
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  6.  30
    Geometrodynamics as Functionalism about Time.Henrique Gomes & Jeremy Butterfield - unknown
    We review three broadly geometrodynamical---and in part, Machian or relational---projects, from the perspective of spacetime functionalism. We show how all three are examples of functionalist reduction of the type that was advocated by D. Lewis, and nowadays goes by the label `the Canberra Plan’. The projects are: the recovery of geometrodynamics by Hojman et al. ; the programme of Schuller and collaborators to deduce a metric from the physics of matter fields; the deduction of the ADM Hamiltonian by Gomes and (...)
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  7.  45
    Frequently Asked Questions About Shape Dynamics.Henrique Gomes & Tim Koslowski - 2013 - Foundations of Physics 43 (12):1428-1458.
    Barbour’s interpretation of Mach’s principle led him to postulate that gravity should be formulated as a dynamical theory of spatial conformal geometry, or in his terminology, “shapes.” Recently, it was shown that the dynamics of General Relativity can indeed be formulated as the dynamics of shapes. This new Shape Dynamics theory, unlike earlier proposals by Barbour and his collaborators, implements local spatial conformal invariance as a gauge symmetry that replaces refoliation invariance in General Relativity. It is the purpose of this (...)
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  8.  40
    Semi-classical Locality for the Non-relativistic Path Integral in Configuration Space.Henrique Gomes - 2017 - Foundations of Physics 47 (9):1155-1184.
    In an accompanying paper Gomes, we have put forward an interpretation of quantum mechanics based on a non-relativistic, Lagrangian 3+1 formalism of a closed Universe M, existing on timeless configuration space \ of some field over M. However, not much was said there about the role of locality, which was not assumed. This paper is an attempt to fill that gap. Locality in full can only emerge dynamically, and is not postulated. This new understanding of locality is based solely on (...)
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  9.  42
    Timeless Configuration Space and the Emergence of Classical Behavior.Henrique Gomes - 2018 - Foundations of Physics 48 (6):668-715.
    The inherent difficulty in talking about quantum decoherence in the context of quantum cosmology is that decoherence requires subsystems, and cosmology is the study of the whole Universe. Consistent histories gave a possible answer to this conundrum, by phrasing decoherence as loss of interference between alternative histories of closed systems. When one can apply Boolean logic to a set of histories, it is deemed ‘consistent’. However, the vast majority of the sets of histories that are merely consistent are blatantly nonclassical (...)
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  10.  39
    How to Choose a Gauge? The Case of Hamiltonian Electromagnetism.Henrique Gomes & Jeremy Butterfield - 2024 - Erkenntnis 89 (4):1581-1615.
    We develop some ideas about gauge symmetry in the context of Maxwell’s theory of electromagnetism in the Hamiltonian formalism. One great benefit of this formalism is that it pairs momentum and configurational degrees of freedom, so that a decomposition of one side into subsets can be translated into a decomposition of the other. In the case of electromagnetism, this enables us to pair degrees of freedom of the electric field with degrees of freedom of the vector potential. Another benefit is (...)
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  11.  72
    Gauge Symmetries, Symmetry Breaking, and Gauge-Invariant Approaches.Philipp Berghofer, Jordan François, Simon Friederich, Henrique Gomes, Guy Hetzroni, Axel Maas & René Sondenheimer - 2023 - Cambridge University Press.
    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 (...)
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