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UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA IRVINE

DEPARTMENT OF LOGIC AND PHILOSOPHY OF SCIENCE

COLLOQUIUM

Richard Healey

Department of Philosophy

University of Arizona

“Gauge Potentials: Physical Reality or Mathematical Fiction?”

Friday, October 20, 2000

3:00 p.m.

SST 777


     Classically, a gauge potential was merely a convenient device for generating a corresponding gauge field. Quantum-mechanically, a gauge potential lays claim to represent an independent aspect of its associated interaction. But it is not clear what this is like or how it is most faithfully represented mathematically. I shall argue that in the theory of electromagnetism (or a non-Abelian generalization) that describes quantum particles subject to a classical interaction, the gauge potential is best understood as a global feature of the physical situation, represented by the holonomies of closed curves in space-time.

Richard A. Healey

A Bibliography

Compiled by

Eddie Yeghiayan

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