Symmetries and the identity of physicsl states

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Abstract

The paper proposes a combined account of identity for physical states and direct empirical significance for symmetries according to which symmetry-related state variables designate distinct physical states if and only if the symmetry that relates them has direct empirical significance. Strengthening an earlier result, I show that, given this combined account, the local gauge symmetries in our leading contemporary theories of particle physics do not have any direct empirical significance.


Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEPSA15 Selected Papers
EditorsMichela Massimi, Jan-Willem Romeijn, Gerhard Schurz
PublisherSpringer
Chapter13
Pages153-165
Number of pages13
ISBN (Print)978-3-319-53729-0
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2017

Publication series

NameEuropean Studies in Philosophy of Science
PublisherSpringer
Volume5

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