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.
|Title of host publication||EPSA15 Selected Papers|
|Editors||Michela Massimi, Jan-Willem Romeijn, Gerhard Schurz|
|Number of pages||13|
|Publication status||Published - 2017|
|Name||European Studies in Philosophy of Science|