Results for 'Symmetry (Physics'

480 found
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  1.  83
    Symmetry Physics and Information Theory.Ernest H. Hutten - 1970 - Diogenes 18 (72):1-21.
  2. Fearful Symmetry: The Search for Beauty in Modern Physics.A. Zee - 1986 - Princeton University Press.
    Fearful Symmetry brings the incredible discoveries of contemporary physics within everyone's grasp. A. Zee, a distinguished physicist and skillful expositor, tells the exciting story of how today's theoretical physicists are following Einstein in their search for the beauty and simplicity of Nature. Animated by a sense of reverence and whimsy, the book describes the majestic sweep and accomplishments of twentieth-century physics. In the end, we stand in awe before the grand vision of modern physics--one of the (...)
     
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  3. Symmetry and the Metaphysics of Physics.David John Baker - 2010 - Philosophy Compass 5 (12):1157-1166.
    The widely held picture of dynamical symmetry as surplus structure in a physical theory has many metaphysical applications. Here, I focus on its relevance to the question of which quantities in a theory represent fundamental natural properties.
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  4. From Physics to Biology by Extending Criticality and Symmetry Breakings.Giuseppe Longo & Maël Montévil - 2011 - Progress in Biophysics and Molecular Biology 106:340 - 347.
    Symmetries play a major role in physics, in particular since the work by E. Noether and H. Weyl in the first half of last century. Herein, we briefly review their role by recalling how symmetry changes allow to conceptually move from classical to relativistic and quantum physics. We then introduce our ongoing theoretical analysis in biology and show that symmetries play a radically different role in this discipline, when compared to those in current physics. By this (...)
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  5.  67
    Symmetry Arguments in Physics.Peter Kosso - 1999 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 30 (3):479-492.
    Physicists often appeal to the beauty of a theory as a way to judge its credibility, and the most prevalent component of this beauty is symmetry. This paper describes the role and structure of symmetry arguments in physics. It demonstrates that the epistemic authority of an appeal to symmetry is based on empirical evidence and is independent of any aesthetic judgment. Furthermore, symmetry in nature is not evidence of design. Just the opposite, symmetry indicates (...)
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  6. Laws, Symmetry, and Symmetry Breaking: Invariance, Conservation Principles, and Objectivity.John Earman - 2004 - Philosophy of Science 71 (5):1227--1241.
    Given its importance in modern physics, philosophers of science have paid surprisingly little attention to the subject of symmetries and invariances, and they have largely neglected the subtopic of symmetry breaking. I illustrate how the topic of laws and symmetries brings into fruitful interaction technical issues in physics and mathematics with both methodological issues in philosophy of science, such as the status of laws of physics, and metaphysical issues, such as the nature of objectivity.
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  7.  29
    Fundamental Manifestations of Symmetry in Physics.Joe Rosen - 1990 - Foundations of Physics 20 (3):283-307.
    Five fundamental manifestations of symmetry in physics—reproducibility as symmetry, predictability as symmetry, symmetry of evolution of isolated physical systems, symmetry of states of physical systems, and gauge symmetry—are investigated for their essential meaning and physical significance. The approach is conceptual, to the complete exclusion of mathematical formalism.
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  8. Symmetry as an Epistemic Notion.Shamik Dasgupta - 2016 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 67 (3):837-878.
    Symmetries in physics are a guide to reality. That much is well known. But what is less well known is why symmetry is a guide to reality. What justifies inferences that draw conclusions about reality from premises about symmetries? I argue that answering this question reveals that symmetry is an epistemic notion twice over. First, these inferences must proceed via epistemic lemmas: premises about symmetries in the first instance justify epistemic lemmas about our powers of detection, and (...)
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  9.  56
    Symmetry in Physics: Proportion and Harmony to the Term of Metalanguage.Ruth Castillo - 2018 - Dissertation, Universidad Central de Venezuela
    SYMMETRY IN PHYSICS: FROM PROPORTION AND HARMONY TO THE TERM OF METALENGUAJE -/- Ruth Castillo Universidad Central de Venezuela -/- The revolutionary changes in physics require a careful exploration of the way in which concepts depend on the theoretical structure in which they are immerse. A historical reconstruction allows us to show how the notion of symmetry evolves from the definition as proportion and harmony to its consideration within the language of contemporary physics, as a (...)
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  10.  77
    Time Symmetry in Microphysics.Huw Price - 1997 - Philosophy of Science 64 (4):244.
    Physics takes for granted that interacting physical systems with no common history are independent, before their interaction. This principle is time-asymmetric, for no such restriction applies to systems with no common future, after an interaction. The time-asymmetry is normally attributed to boundary conditions. I argue that there are two distinct independence principles of this kind at work in contemporary physics, one of which cannot be attributed to boundary conditions, and therefore conflicts with the assumed T (or CPT) (...) of microphysics. I note that this may have interesting ramifications in quantum mechanics. (shrink)
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  11.  30
    Symmetry and Symmetry Breaking.Katherine Brading & Elena Castellani - forthcoming - The Standford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    Symmetry considerations dominate modern fundamental physics, both in quantum theory and in relativity. Philosophers are now beginning to devote increasing attention to such issues as the significance of gauge symmetry, quantum particle identity in the light of permutation symmetry, how to make sense of parity violation, the role of symmetry breaking, the empirical status of symmetry principles, and so forth. These issues relate directly to traditional problems in the philosophy of science, including the status (...)
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  12. Symmetry and Equivalence.Gordon Belot - 2013 - In Robert Batterman (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Physics. Oxford University Press. pp. 318-339.
    This paper is concerned with the relation between two notions: that of two solutions or models of a theory being related by a symmetry of the theory and that of solutions or models being physically equivalent. A number of authors have recently discussed this relation, some taking an optimistic view, on which there is a suitable concept of the symmetry of a theory relative to which these two notions coincide, others taking a pessimistic view, on which there is (...)
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  13. Mirror Symmetry and Other Miracles in Superstring Theory.Dean Rickles - 2013 - Foundations of Physics 43 (1):54-80.
    The dominance of string theory in the research landscape of quantum gravity physics (despite any direct experimental evidence) can, I think, be justified in a variety of ways. Here I focus on an argument from mathematical fertility, broadly similar to Hilary Putnam’s ‘no miracles argument’ that, I argue, many string theorists in fact espouse in some form or other. String theory has generated many surprising, useful, and well-confirmed mathematical ‘predictions’—here I focus on mirror symmetry and the mirror theorem. (...)
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  14. Symmetries in Physics: Philosophical Reflections.Katherine Brading & Elena Castellani (eds.) - 2002 - Cambridge University Press.
    Highlighting main issues and controversies, this book brings together current philosophical discussions of symmetry in physics to provide an introduction to the subject for physicists and philosophers. The contributors cover all the fundamental symmetries of modern physics, such as CPT and permutation symmetry, as well as discussing symmetry-breaking and general interpretational issues. Classic texts are followed by new review articles and shorter commentaries for each topic. Suitable for courses on the foundations of physics, philosophy (...)
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  15. Symmetry and Gauge Freedom.Gordon Belot - 2002 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 34 (2):189-225.
    The classical field theories that underlie the quantum treatments of the electromagnetic, weak, and strong forces share a peculiar feature: specifying the initial state of the field determines the evolution of some degrees of freedom of the theory while leaving the evolution of some others wholly arbitrary. This strongly suggests that some of the variables of the standard state space lack physical content-intuitively, the space of states of such a theory is of higher dimension than the corresponding space of genuine (...)
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  16.  30
    Symmetry and Evolution in Quantum Gravity.Sean Gryb & Karim Thébaault - 2014 - Foundations of Physics 44 (3):305-348.
    We propose an operator constraint equation for the wavefunction of the Universe that admits genuine evolution. While the corresponding classical theory is equivalent to the canonical decomposition of General Relativity, the quantum theory contains an evolution equation distinct from standard Wheeler–DeWitt cosmology. Furthermore, the local symmetry principle—and corresponding observables—of the theory have a direct interpretation in terms of a conventional gauge theory, where the gauge symmetry group is that of spatial conformal diffeomorphisms (that preserve the spatial volume of (...)
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  17.  60
    The Unifying Role of Symmetry Principles in Particle Physics.Brigitte Falkenburg - 1988 - Ratio 1 (2):113-134.
  18.  80
    Spontaneous Symmetry Breaking in Quantum Systems: Emergence or Reduction?Nicolaas P. Landsman - 2013 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 44 (4):379-394.
    Beginning with Anderson, spontaneous symmetry breaking in infinite quantum systems is often put forward as an example of emergence in physics, since in theory no finite system should display it. Even the correspondence between theory and reality is at stake here, since numerous real materials show ssb in their ground states, although they are finite. Thus against what is sometimes called ‘Earman's Principle’, a genuine physical effect seems theoretically recovered only in some idealisation, disappearing as soon as the (...)
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  19.  10
    Symmetry Fundamentalism: A Case Study From Classical Physics.David Schroeren - 2020 - The Philosophical Quarterly.
    Physicists have suggested what I call symmetry fundamentalism: the view that symmetries are fundamental aspects of physical reality and that these aspects are more fundamental than what one might ordinarily think of as the fundamental building blocks of the world, such as elementary particles. The goal of this paper is to develop an ontology for classical particle mechanics that provides a precise instance of symmetry fundamentalism.
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  20.  46
    Invariance, Symmetry and Meaning.Patrick Suppes - 2000 - Foundations of Physics 30 (10):1569-1585.
    The role of the concept of invariance in physics and geometry is analyzed, with attention to the closely connected concepts of symmetry and objective meaning. The question of why the fundamental equations of physical theories are not invariant, but only covariant, is examined in some detail. The last part of the paper focuses on the surprising example of entropy as a complete invariant in ergodic theory for any two ergodic processes that are isomorphic in the measure-theoretic sense.
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  21.  86
    Symmetry, Quantum Mechanics, and Beyond.Elena Castellani - 2002 - Foundations of Science 7 (1-2):181-196.
    The relevance of symmetry to today's physics is a widely acknowledged fact. A significant part of recent physical inquiry – especially the physics concerned with investigating the fundamentalbuilding blocks of nature – is grounded on symmetry principles andtheir many and far-reaching consequences. But where these symmetries come from and what their real meaning is are open questions, at the center of a developing debate among physicists and philosophers of science. To tackle the problems arising in considering (...)
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  22.  13
    Objectivity, Invariance, and Convention: Symmetry in Physical Science.Talal A. Debs & Michael Redhead - 2007 - Harvard University Press.
    Most observers agree that modern physical theory attempts to provide objective representations of reality. However, the claim that these representations are based on conventional choices is viewed by many as a denial of their objectivity. As a result, objectivity and conventionality in representation are often framed as polar opposites. Offering a new appraisal of symmetry in modern physics, employing detailed case studies from relativity theory and quantum mechanics, Objectivity, Invariance, and Convention contends that the physical sciences, though dependent (...)
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  23.  6
    Spontaneous Symmetry Breaking in Particle Physics : Invited Lecture Given at Sugimoto Campus, Osaka City University on June 14, 2009.Hiroshi Itoyama - 2010 - Journal of the Japan Association for Philosophy of Science 37 (2):87-94.
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  24.  11
    Fearful Symmetry: The Search for Beauty in Modern Physics by A. Zee. [REVIEW]James Mcallister - 2001 - Isis 92:130-131.
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  25.  5
    Fearful Symmetry: The Search for Beauty in Modern Physics. A. Zee.James W. McAllister - 2001 - Isis 92 (1):130-131.
  26.  62
    Symmetry, Empirical Equivalence, and Identity.Simon Friederich - 2015 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 66 (3):537-559.
    The article proposes a novel approach to the much discussed question of which symmetries have ‘direct empirical significance’ and which do not. The approach is based on a development of a recently proposed framework by Hilary Greaves and David Wallace, who claim that, contrary to the standard folklore among philosophers of physics, ‘local’ symmetries may have direct empirical significance no less than ‘global’ ones. Partly vindicating the standard folklore, a result is derived here from a number of plausible assumptions, (...)
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  27.  39
    On the Concept of Spontaneously Broken Gauge Symmetry in Condensed Matter Physics.Anthony J. Leggett & Fernando Sols - 1991 - Foundations of Physics 21 (3):353-364.
    We discuss the concept of spontaneous breaking of gauge symmetry in super-conductors and superfluids and, in particular, the circumstances under which the absolute phase of a superfluid can be physically meaningful and experimentally relevant. We argue that the study of this question pushes us toward the frontiers of what we understand about the quantum measurement process, and underline the need for a new theoretical framework that keeps pace with modern technological capabilities.
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  28. Symmetry as a Guide to Superfluous Theoretical Structure.Jenann Ismael & Bas C. van~Fraassen - 2003 - In Katherine Brading & Elena Castellani (eds.), Symmetries in Physics: Philosophical Reflections. Cambridge University Press. pp. 371--92.
  29.  21
    Symmetry-Breaking Vacuum and State Vector Reduction.H. D. Zeh - 1975 - Foundations of Physics 5 (2):371-373.
    It is argued by means of analogy with certain irreversible processes that a symmetry-violating vacuum need not necessarily be explained by a special cosmic initial condition.
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  30. Are Gauge Symmetry Transformations Observable?Katherine Brading & Harvey R. Brown - 2004 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 55 (4):645-665.
    In a recent paper in this journal, Kosso ([2000]) discussed the observational status of continuous symmetries of physics. While we are in broad agreement with his approach, we disagree with his analysis. In the discussion of the status of gauge symmetry, a set of examples offered by 't Hooft ([1980]) has influenced several philosophers, including Kosso; in all cases the interpretation of the examples is mistaken. In this paper, we present our preferred approach to the empirical significance of (...)
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  31. Which Symmetry? Noether, Weyl, and Conservation of Electric Charge.Katherine A. Brading - 2002 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 33 (1):3-22.
  32.  25
    Symmetry, Reference Frames, and Relational Quantities in Quantum Mechanics.Leon Loveridge, Takayuki Miyadera & Paul Busch - 2018 - Foundations of Physics 48 (2):135-198.
    We propose that observables in quantum theory are properly understood as representatives of symmetry-invariant quantities relating one system to another, the latter to be called a reference system. We provide a rigorous mathematical language to introduce and study quantum reference systems, showing that the orthodox “absolute” quantities are good representatives of observable relative quantities if the reference state is suitably localised. We use this relational formalism to critique the literature on the relationship between reference frames and superselection rules, settling (...)
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  33. QFT, Antimatter, and Symmetry.David Wallace - 2009 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 40 (3):209-222.
    A systematic analysis is made of the relations between the symmetries of a classical field and the symmetries of the one-particle quantum system that results from quantizing that field in regimes where interactions are weak. The results are applied to gain a greater insight into the phenomenon of antimatter.
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  34.  94
    Time-Symmetry Without Retrocausality: How the Quantum Can Withhold the Solace.Huw Price - unknown
    It has been suggested that some of the puzzles of QM are resolved if we allow that there is retrocausality in the quantum world. In particular, it has been claimed that this approach offers a path to a Lorentz-invariant explanation of Bell correlations, and other manifestations of quantum "nonlocality", without action-at-a-distance. Some writers have suggested that this proposal can be supported by an appeal to time-symmetry, claiming that if QM were made "more time-symmetric", retrocausality would be a natural consequence. (...)
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  35.  44
    The Making of an Intrinsic Property: “Symmetry Heuristics” in Early Particle Physics.Arianna Borrelli - 2015 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 50:59-70.
  36.  74
    Spontaneous Symmetry Breaking: Quantum Statistical Mechanics Versus Quantum Field Theory.Doreen Fraser - 2012 - Philosophy of Science 79 (5):905-916.
    Philosophical analysis of spontaneous symmetry breaking (SSB) in particle physics has been hindered by the unavailability of rigorous formulations of models in quantum field theory (QFT). A strategy for addressing this problem is to use the rigorous models that have been constructed for SSB in quantum statistical mechanics (QSM) systems as a basis for drawing analogous conclusions about SSB in QFT. On the basis of an analysis of this strategy as an instance of the application of the same (...)
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  37.  35
    Time Symmetry and Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics.O. Costa de Beauregard - 1976 - Foundations of Physics 6 (5):539-559.
    A drastic resolution of the quantum paradoxes is proposed, combining (I) von Neumann's postulate that collapse of the state vector is due to the act of observation, and (II) my reinterpretation of von Neumann's quantal irreversibility as an equivalence between wave retardation and entropy increase, both being “factlike” rather than “lawlike” (Mehlberg). This entails a coupling of the two de jure symmetries between (I) retarded and (II) advanced waves, and between Aristotle's information as (I) learning and (II) willing awareness. Symmetric (...)
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  38. Does Time-Symmetry Imply Retrocausality? How the Quantum World Says “Maybe”?Huw Price - 2012 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 43 (2):75-83.
    It has often been suggested that retrocausality offers a solution to some of the puzzles of quantum mechanics: e.g., that it allows a Lorentz-invariant explanation of Bell correlations, and other manifestations of quantum nonlocality, without action-at-a-distance. Some writers have argued that time-symmetry counts in favour of such a view, in the sense that retrocausality would be a natural consequence of a truly time-symmetric theory of the quantum world. Critics object that there is complete time-symmetry in classical physics, (...)
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  39. How is Spontaneous Symmetry Breaking Possible? Understanding Wigner's Theorem in Light of Unitary Inequivalence.David John Baker & Hans Halvorson - 2013 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 44 (4):464-469.
    We pose and resolve a puzzle about spontaneous symmetry breaking in the quantum theory of infinite systems. For a symmetry to be spontaneously broken, it must not be implementable by a unitary operator in a ground state's GNS representation. But Wigner's theorem guarantees that any symmetry's action on states is given by a unitary operator. How can this unitary operator fail to implement the symmetry in the GNS representation? We show how it is possible for a (...)
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  40.  13
    Which Symmetry? Noether, Weyl, and Conservation of Electric Charge.Katherine A. Brading - 2002 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 33 (1):3-22.
  41.  82
    Scaling Symmetry and Thermodynamic Equilibrium for Classical Electromagnetic Radiation.Timothy H. Boyer - 1989 - Foundations of Physics 19 (11):1371-1383.
    At present classical physics contains two contradictory groups of derivations of the equilibrium spectrum of random classical electromagnetic radiation. One group of derivations finds Planck's spectrum based upon the use of classical electromagnetic zero-point radiation and fundamental ideas of thermodynamics. The other group of derivations finds the Rayleigh-Jeans spectrum from scattering equilibrium for non-linear mechanical systems in the limit of small charge coupling to radiation. Here we examine the scaling symmetries of classical thermal radiation. We find that, in general, (...)
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  42.  24
    Mathematics Via Symmetry.Noson Yanofsky & Mark Zelcer - unknown
    We state the defining characteristic of mathematics as a type of symmetry where one can change the connotation of a mathematical statement in a certain way when the statement's truth value remains the same. This view of mathematics as satisfying such symmetry places mathematics as comparable with modern views of physics and science where, over the past century, symmetry also plays a defining role. We explore the very nature of mathematics and its relationship with natural science (...)
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  43. The Role of Symmetry in the Interpretation of Physical Theories.Adam Caulton - 2015 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 52 (Part B):153-162.
    The symmetries of a physical theory are often associated with two things: conservation laws and representational redundancies. But how can a physical theory's symmetries give rise to interesting conservation laws, if symmetries are transformations that correspond to no genuine physical difference? In this article, I argue for a disambiguation in the notion of symmetry. The central distinction is between what I call "analytic" and "synthetic" symmetries, so called because of an analogy with analytic and synthetic propositions. "Analytic" symmetries are (...)
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  44. Emergence, Singularities, and Symmetry Breaking.Robert W. Batterman - 2011 - Foundations of Physics 41 (6):1031-1050.
    This paper looks at emergence in physical theories and argues that an appropriate way to understand socalled “emergent protectorates” is via the explanatory apparatus of the renormalization group. It is argued that mathematical singularities play a crucial role in our understanding of at least some well-defined emergent features of the world.
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  45. Symmetries and Invariances in Classical Physics.Katherine Brading & Elena Castellani - unknown - In Jeremy Butterfield & John Earman (eds.). Elsevier.
    Symmetry, intended as invariance with respect to a transformation (more precisely, with respect to a transformation group), has acquired more and more importance in modern physics. This Chapter explores in 8 Sections the meaning, application and interpretation of symmetry in classical physics. This is done both in general, and with attention to specific topics. The general topics include illustration of the distinctions between symmetries of objects and of laws, and between symmetry principles and symmetry (...)
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  46.  79
    Symmetry Groups, Absolute Objects and Action Principles in Gerenral Relativity.Anna Maidens - 1998 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 29 (2):245--72.
  47.  27
    How Symmetry Undid the Particle: A Demonstration of the Incompatibility of Particle Interpretations and Permutation Invariance.Benjamin C. Jantzen - unknown
    The idea that the world is made of particles — little discrete, interacting objects that compose the material bodies of everyday experience — is a durable one. Following the advent of quantum theory, the idea was revised but not abandoned. It remains manifest in the explanatory language of physics, chemistry, and molecular biology. Aside from its durability, there is good reason for the scientific realist to embrace the particle interpretation: such a view can account for the prominent epistemic fact (...)
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  48.  28
    Symmetry, Objectivity, and Design.Peter Kosso - 2003 - In Katherine A. Brading & Elena Castellani (eds.), Symmetries in Physics: Philosophical Reflections. Cambridge University Press.
  49. A. Zee, Fearful Symmetry: The Search for Beauty in Modern Physics (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1999).J. W. McAllister - unknown
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  50.  21
    Response to Hartshorne Concerning Symmetry and Asymmetry in Physics.Joseph Rosen - 1997 - Process Studies 26 (3/4):318-323.
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