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  1. Can Magnetic Forces Do Work?Jacob Barandes - manuscript
    Standard lore holds that magnetic forces are incapable of doing mechanical work. More precisely, the claim is that whenever it appears that a magnetic force is doing work, the work is actually being done by another force, with the magnetic force serving only as an indirect mediator. However, the most familiar instances of magnetic forces acting in everyday life, such as when bar magnets lift other bar magnets, appear to present manifest evidence of magnetic forces doing work. These sorts of (...)
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  2. Manifestly Covariant Lagrangians, Classical Particles with Spin, and the Origins of Gauge Invariance.Jacob Barandes - manuscript
    In this paper, we review a general technique for converting the standard Lagrangian description of a classical system into a formulation that puts time on an equal footing with the system's degrees of freedom. We show how the resulting framework anticipates key features of special relativity, including the signature of the Minkowski metric tensor and the special role played by theories that are invariant under a generalized notion of Lorentz transformations. We then use this technique to revisit a classification of (...)
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  3. Is the world made of loops?Alexander Afriat - 2013
    In discussions of the Aharonov-Bohm effect, Healey and Lyre have attributed reality to loops $\sigma_0$ (or hoops $[\sigma_0]$), since the electromagnetic potential $A$ is currently unmeasurable and can therefore be transformed. I argue that $[A]=[A+d\lambda]_{\lambda}$ and the hoop $[\sigma_0]$ are related by a meaningful duality, so that however one feels about $[A]$ (or any potential $A\in[A]$), it is no worse than $[\sigma_0]$ (or any loop $\sigma_0\in[\sigma_0]$): no ontological firmness is gained by retreating to the loops, which are just as flimsy (...)
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  4. Comparativist Theories or Conspiracy Theories: the No Miracles Argument Against Comparativism.Caspar Jacobs - forthcoming - Journal of Philosophy.
    Although physical theories routinely posit absolute quantities, such as absolute position or intrinsic mass, it seems that only comparative quantities such as distance and mass ratio are observable. But even if there are in fact only distances and mass ratios, the success of absolutist theories means that the world looks just as if there are absolute positions and intrinsic masses. If comparativism is nevertheless true, there is a sense in which it is a cosmic conspiracy that the world looks just (...)
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  5. The Promise of Supersymmetry.Enno Fischer - 2024 - Synthese 203 (6):1-21.
    Supersymmetry (SUSY) has long been considered an exceptionally promising theory. A central role for the promise has been played by naturalness arguments. Yet, given the absence of experimental findings it is questionable whether the promise will ever be fulfilled. Here, I provide an analysis of the promises associated with SUSY, employing a concept of pursuitworthiness. A research program like SUSY is pursuitworthy if (1) it has the plausible potential to provide high epistemic gain and (2) that gain can be achieved (...)
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  6. Are Models Our Tools Not Our Masters?Caspar Jacobs - 2023 - Synthese 202 (4):1-21.
    It is often claimed that one can avoid the kind of underdetermination that is a typical consequence of symmetries in physics by stipulating that symmetry-related models represent the same state of affairs (Leibniz Equivalence). But recent commentators (Dasgupta 2011; Pooley 2021; Pooley and Read 2021; Teitel 2021a) have responded that claims about the representational capacities of models are irrelevant to the issue of underdetermination, which concerns possible worlds themselves. In this paper I distinguish two versions of this objection: (1) that (...)
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  7. The metaphysics of fibre bundles.Caspar Jacobs - 2023 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 97 (C):34-43.
    Recently, Dewar (2019) has suggested that one can apply the strategy of 'sophistication' - as exemplified by sophisticated substantivalism as a response to the diffeomorphism invariance of General Relativity - to gauge theories such as electrodynamics. This requires a shift to the formalism of fibre bundles. In this paper, I develop and defend this suggestion. Where my approach differs from previous discussions is that I focus on the metaphysical picture underlying the fibre bundle formalism. In particular, I aim to affirm (...)
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  8. 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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  9. Logical Foundations of Local Gauge Symmetry and Symmetry Breaking.Yingrui Yang - 2022 - Journal of Human Cognition 6 (1):18-23.
    The present paper intends to report two results. It is shown that the formula P(x)=∀y∀z[¬G(x, y)→¬M(z)] provides the logic underlying gauge symmetry, where M denotes the predicate of being massive. For the logic of spontaneous symmetry breaking, by Higgs mechanism, we have P(x)=∀y∀z[G(x, y)→M(z)]. Notice that the above two formulas are not logically equivalent. The results are obtained by integrating four components, namely, gauge symmetry and Higgs mechanism in quantum field theory, and Gödel's incompleteness theorem and Tarski's indefinability theorem in (...)
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  10. Gauge Invariance for Classical Massless Particles with Spin.Jacob A. Barandes - 2021 - Foundations of Physics 51 (1):1-14.
    Wigner's quantum-mechanical classification of particle-types in terms of irreducible representations of the Poincaré group has a classical analogue, which we extend in this paper. We study the compactness properties of the resulting phase spaces at fixed energy, and show that in order for a classical massless particle to be physically sensible, its phase space must feature a classical-particle counterpart of electromagnetic gauge invariance. By examining the connection between massless and massive particles in the massless limit, we also derive a classical-particle (...)
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  11. On Magnetic Forces and Work.Jacob A. Barandes - 2021 - Foundations of Physics 51 (4):1-17.
    We address a long-standing debate over whether classical magnetic forces can do work, ultimately answering the question in the affirmative. In detail, we couple a classical particle with intrinsic spin and elementary dipole moments to the electromagnetic field, derive the appropriate generalization of the Lorentz force law, show that the particle's dipole moments must be collinear with its spin axis, and argue that the magnetic field does mechanical work on the particle's elementary magnetic dipole moment. As consistency checks, we calculate (...)
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  12. Invariance or equivalence: a tale of two principles.Caspar Jacobs - 2021 - Synthese 199 (3-4):9337-9357.
    The presence of symmetries in physical theories implies a pernicious form of underdetermination. In order to avoid this theoretical vice, philosophers often espouse a principle called Leibniz Equivalence, which states that symmetry-related models represent the same state of affairs. Moreover, philosophers have claimed that the existence of non-trivial symmetries motivates us to accept the Invariance Principle, which states that quantities that vary under a theory’s symmetries aren’t physically real. Leibniz Equivalence and the Invariance Principle are often seen as part of (...)
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  13. Fundamentality, Effectiveness, and Objectivity of Gauge Symmetries.Aldo Filomeno - 2016 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 30 (1):19-37.
    Much recent philosophy of physics has investigated the process of symmetry breaking. Here, I critically assess the alleged symmetry restoration at the fundamental scale. I draw attention to the contingency that gauge symmetries exhibit, that is, the fact that they have been chosen from an infinite space of possibilities. I appeal to this feature of group theory to argue that any metaphysical account of fundamental laws that expects symmetry restoration up to the fundamental level is not fully satisfactory. This is (...)
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  14. Quantum Measure from a Philosophical Viewpoint.Vasil Penchev - 2014 - Journal of Siberian Federal University. Humanities and Social Sciences 7 (1):4-19.
    The paper discusses the philosophical conclusions, which the interrelation between quantum mechanics and general relativity implies by quantum measure. Quantum measure is three-dimensional, both universal as the Borel measure and complete as the Lebesgue one. Its unit is a quantum bit (qubit) and can be considered as a generalization of the unit of classical information, a bit. It allows quantum mechanics to be interpreted in terms of quantum information, and all physical processes to be seen as informational in a generalized (...)
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  15. La symétrie de jauge comme sonde philosophique.Alexandre Guay - 2013 - In Soazig Le Bihan (ed.), Précis de philosophie de la physique. Vuibert. pp. 295-308.
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  16. Symmetrien, Strukturen, Realismus.Holger Lyre - 2012 - In Michael Esfeld (ed.), Philosophie der Physik. Suhrkamp. pp. 368-389.
    In der modernen Physik spielen Symmetrien eine herausragende Rolle zur Identifikation und Klassifizierung der fundamentalen Theorien und Entitäten. Symmetrien dienen der Darstellung invarianter Strukturen, das geeignete mathematische Werkzeug hierfür ist die Gruppentheorie. Eine Struktur lässt sich als eine Menge von Relationen verstehen, die einer Menge von Objekten aufgeprägt sind. Strukturell charakterisierte Objekte sind daher wesentlich über ihre relationalen Eigenschaften charakterisiert. Sieht man die theoretischen Entitäten wissenschaftlicher Theorien vornehmlich in dieser strukturellen Weise an, vertritt man eine moderate Variante eines wissenschaftlichen Realismus, (...)
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  17. Gauge Pressure. [REVIEW]Dean Rickles, Chris Smeenk, Holger Lyre & Richard Healey - 2009 - Metascience 18 (1):5-41.
    Symposium review of Richard Healey, Gauging What’s Real: The Conceptual Foundations of Contemporary Gauge Theories. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007. Pp. 297. $99.00 HB.
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  18. Dirac-Type Equations in a Gravitational Field, with Vector Wave Function.Mayeul Arminjon - 2008 - Foundations of Physics 38 (11):1020-1045.
    An analysis of the classical-quantum correspondence shows that it needs to identify a preferred class of coordinate systems, which defines a torsionless connection. One such class is that of the locally-geodesic systems, corresponding to the Levi-Civita connection. Another class, thus another connection, emerges if a preferred reference frame is available. From the classical Hamiltonian that rules geodesic motion, the correspondence yields two distinct Klein-Gordon equations and two distinct Dirac-type equations in a general metric, depending on the connection used. Each of (...)
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  19. The Elusive Higgs Mechanism.Chris Smeenk - 2006 - Philosophy of Science 73 (5):487-499.
    The Higgs mechanism is an essential but elusive component of the Standard Model of particle physics. Without it Yang‐Mills gauge theories would have been little more than a warm‐up exercise in the attempt to quantize gravity rather than serving as the basis for the Standard Model. This article focuses on two problems related to the Higgs mechanism clearly posed in Earman’s recent papers (Earman 2003, 2004a, 2004b): what is the gauge‐invariant content of the Higgs mechanism, and what does it mean (...)
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  20. Time-dependent symmetries: the link between gauge symmetries and indeterminism.David Wallace - 2002 - In Katherine Brading & Elena Castellani (eds.), Symmetries in Physics: Philosophical Reflections. Cambridge University Press. pp. 163--173.
    Mathematically, gauge theories are extraordinarily rich --- so rich, in fact, that it can become all too easy to lose track of the connections between results, and become lost in a mass of beautiful theorems and properties: indeterminism, constraints, Noether identities, local and global symmetries, and so on. -/- One purpose of this short article is to provide some sort of a guide through the mathematics, to the conceptual core of what is actually going on. Its focus is on the (...)
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  21. Review of Nugayev's book "REconstruction of Mature Theory Change: A Theory-Change Model". [REVIEW]N. Sheppard & Rinat M. Nugayev - 2000 - Appraisal 3 (1):49.
    The book addresses the question of what are the routes and mechanisms of the theory-change process in science at the level when the change involves the calling in question of a mature theory, i.e. one which has been accepted as accounting very well for a large range of experimental phenomenon.
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