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  1. Time Remains.Sean Gryb & Karim P. Y. Thébault - 2016 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 67 (3):663-705.
    On one popular view, the general covariance of gravity implies that change is relational in a strong sense, such that all it is for a physical degree of freedom to change is for it to vary with regard to a second physical degree of freedom. At a quantum level, this view of change as relative variation leads to a fundamentally timeless formalism for quantum gravity. Here, we will show how one may avoid this acute ‘problem of time’. Under our view, (...)
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  2. 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 unitary operator of this (...)
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  3. 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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  4. 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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  5. The Time Flow Manifesto Chapter 5 Time Flow Physics.Andrew Holster - manuscript
    In this chapter, we see one way that time flow may force us to develop our physical theory if we add it back into physics proper. Now of course this is speculative in this context, and should be thought of as a model. The two following extracts are from introductions a more complete unified theory. They explain the basic mathematical models that are required to illustrate the point that such models may be plausible. The second extract, ‘the parable of the (...)
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  6. Mathematical electron model and the SI unit 2017 Special Adjustment.Malcolm J. Macleod - manuscript
    Following the 26th General Conference on Weights and Measures are fixed the numerical values of the 4 physical constants ($h, c, e, k_B$). This is premised on the independence of these constants. This article discusses a model of a mathematical electron from which can be defined the Planck units as geometrical objects (mass M=1, time T=2$\pi$ ...). In this model these objects are interrelated via this electron geometry such that once we have assigned values to 2 Planck units then we (...)
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  7. A Dynamical Perspective on the Arrow of Time.Kian Salimkhani - manuscript
    It is standardly believed that the generally time-reversal symmetric fundamental laws of physics themselves cannot explain the apparent asymmetry of time. In particular, it is believed that CP violation is of no help. In this paper, I want to push back against a quick dismissal of CP violation as a potential source for the arrow of time and argue that it should be taken more seriously for conceptualising time in physics. I first recall that CP violation is a key feature (...)
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  8. The Metaphysics of Invariance.David Schroeren - manuscript
    Fundamental physics contains an important link between properties of elementary particles and continuous symmetries of particle systems. For example, properties such as mass and spin are said to be 'associated' with specific continuous symmetries. -/- These 'associations' have played a key role in the discovery of various new particle kinds, but more importantly: they are thought to provide a deep insight into the nature of physical reality. The link between properties and symmetries has been said to call for a radical (...)
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  9. Mathematical Constants of Natural Philosophy.Michael A. Sherbon - manuscript
    Plato's theory of everything is an introduction to a Pythagorean natural philosophy that includes Egyptian sources. The Pythagorean Table and Pythagorean harmonics from the ancient geometry of the Cosmological Circle are related to symbolic associations of basic mathematical constants with the five elements of Plato's allegorical cosmology: Archimedes constant, Euler's number, the polygon circumscribing limit, the golden ratio, and Aristotle's quintessence. Quintessence is representative of the whole, or the one in four, extraneously considered a separate element or fifth force. This (...)
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  10. Counterfactuals, Irreversible Laws and The Direction of Time.Terrance A. Tomkow - manuscript
    The principle of Information Conservation or Determinism is a governing assumption of physical theory. Determinism has counterfactual consequences. It entails that if the present were different, then the future would be different. But determinism is temporally symmetric: it entails that if the present were different, the past would also have to be different. This runs contrary to our commonsense intuition that what has happened in the future depends on the past in a way the past does not depend on the (...)
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  11. 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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  12. 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 of the laws of nature, the (...)
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  13. Counterparts, Determinism, and the Hole Argument.Franciszek Cudek - forthcoming - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science.
    The hole argument concludes that substantivalism about spacetime entails the radical indeterminism of the general theory of relativity (GR). In this paper, I amend and defend a response to the hole argument first proposed by Butterfield (1989) that relies on the idea of counterpart substantivalism. My amendment clarifies and develops the metaphysical presuppositions of counterpart substantivalism and its relation to various definitions of determinism. My defence consists of two claims. First, contra Weatherall (2018) and others: the hole argument is not (...)
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  14. Ontological levels and symmetry breaking, Paideia.G. Darvas - forthcoming - Philosophy of Science.
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  15. Symmetries as Humean Metalaws.Callum Duguid - forthcoming - Philosophy of Science 90 (1):171-187.
    Symmetry principles are a central part of contemporary physics, yet there has been surprisingly little metaphysical work done on them. This article develops the Wignerian treatment of symmetries as higher-order laws—metalaws—within a Humean framework of lawhood. Lange has raised two obstacles to Humean metalaws, and the article shows that the account has the resources available to respond to both. It is argued that this framework for Humean metalaws stands as an example of naturalistic metaphysics, able to bring Humeanism into contact (...)
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  16. How to Teach General Relativity.Guy Hetzroni & James Read - forthcoming - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science.
    Supposing that one is already familiar with special relativistic physics, what constitutes the best route via which to arrive at the architecture of the general theory of relativity? Although the later Einstein would stress the significance of mathematical and theoretical principles in answering this question, in this article we follow the lead of the earlier Einstein (circa 1916) and stress instead how one can go a long way to arriving at the general theory via inductive and empirical principles, without invoking (...)
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  17. 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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  18. How (Not) to Define Inertial Frames.Caspar Jacobs - forthcoming - Australasian Journal of Philosophy.
    It is nearly impossible to open a textbook on Newtonian mechanics without encountering the concept of inertial frames: the frames that are privileged by the theory’s dynamics. In this paper, I argue that extant definitions of inertial frames are unsatisfactory. I criticise two common definitions of inertial frames: law-based definitions, according to which inertial frames are simply those in which the laws are true, and structure-based definitions, according to which inertial frames are those that are ‘adapted’ to spatiotemporal structure. I (...)
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  19. The Π-Theorem as a Guide to Quantity Symmetries and the Argument Against Absolutism.Mahmoud Jalloh - forthcoming - In Karen Bennett & Dean W. Zimmerman (eds.), Oxford Studies in Metaphysics. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    In this paper a symmetry argument against quantity absolutism is amended. Rather than arguing against the fundamentality of intrinsic quantities on the basis of transformations of basic quantities, a class of symmetries defined by the Π-theorem is used. This theorem is a fundamental result of dimensional analysis and shows that all unit-invariant equations which adequately represent physical systems can be put into the form of a function of dimensionless quantities. Quantity transformations that leave those dimensionless quantities invariant are empirical and (...)
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  20. Nuclear symmetry as a framework for coexistence.Abba P. Lerner - forthcoming - Social Research: An International Quarterly.
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  21. Symmetry, causality.Michael Leyton - forthcoming - Mind.
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  22. Transaction and Non Locality in Quantum Field Theory.Ignazio Licata - forthcoming - Europ. Phys. J.
    The most part of the debates on Quantum Mechanics (QM) interpretation come out from the remains of a classical language based upon waves and particles. Such problems can find a decisive clarification in Quantum Field Theory (QFT), where the concept of “classical object” is replaced by an interaction networks. On the other hand, it is simpler to discuss about non-locality in QM than in QFT. We propose here the concept of transaction as a connection between theQM and QFT language as (...)
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  23. Negative-Energy Matter and the Direction of Time.J. C. Lindner - forthcoming
    This report offers a modern perspective on the problem of negative energy, based on a reexamination of the concept of time direction as it arises in a classical and quantum-mechanical context. From this analysis emerges an improved understanding of the general-relativistic stress-energy of matter as being a manifestation of local variations in the energy density of zero-point vacuum fluctuations. Based on those developments, a set of axioms is proposed from which are derived generalized gravitational field equations which actually constitute a (...)
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  24. The Symmetry and Beauty of the Universe.Charles W. Lucas Jr - forthcoming - Foundations of Science.
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  25. On Symmetries and Springs.Sebastián Murgueitio Ramírez - forthcoming - Philosophy of Science.
    Imagine that we are on a train playing with some mechanical systems. Why can’t we detect any differences in their behavior when the train is parked versus when it is moving uniformly? The standard answer is that boosts are symmetries of Newtonian systems. In this paper, I use the case of a spring to argue that this answer is problematic because symmetries are neither sufficient nor necessary for preserving its behavior. I also develop a new answer according to which boosts (...)
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  26. Abandoning Galileo's Ship: The quest for non-relational empirical significance.Sebastián Murgueitio Ramírez & Nicholas Teh - forthcoming - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science.
    The recent debate about whether gauge symmetries can be empirically significant has focused on the possibility of 'Galileo's ship' types of scenarios, where the symmetries effect relational differences between a subsystem and the environment. However, it has gone largely unremarked that apart from such Galileo's ship scenarios, Greaves and Wallace (2014) proposed that gauge transformations can also be empirically significant in a 'non-relational' manner that is analogous to a Faraday-cage scenario, where the subsystem symmetry is related to a change in (...)
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  27. The Promise of Supersymmetry.Enno Fischer - 2024 - Synthese 203 (6).
    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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  28. Some Neglected Possibilities: A Reply to Teitel.Caspar Jacobs - 2024 - Journal of Philosophy 121 (2):108-120.
    The infamous Hole Argument has led philosophers to develop various versions of substantivalism, of which metric essentialism and sophisticated substantivalism are the most popular. In this journal, Trevor Teitel has recently advanced novel arguments against both positions. However, Teitel does not discuss the position of Jeremy Butterfield, which appeals to Lewisian counterpart theory in order to avoid the Hole Argument. In this note I show that the Lewis-Butterfield view is immune to Teitel’s challenges.
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  29. Gauge Symmetries, Symmetry Breaking, and Gauge-Invariant Approaches.Philipp Berghofer, Jordan François, Simon Friederich, Henrique Gomes, Guy Hetzroni, Axel Maas & René Sondenheimer - 2023 - Cambridge University Press.
    Gauge symmetries play a central role, both in the mathematical foundations as well as the conceptual construction of modern (particle) physics theories. However, it is yet unclear whether they form a necessary component of theories, or whether they can be eliminated. It is also unclear whether they are merely an auxiliary tool to simplify (and possibly localize) calculations or whether they contain independent information. Therefore their status, both in physics and philosophy of physics, remains to be fully clarified. In this (...)
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  30. Mathematical Analogies in Physics: The Curious Case of Gauge Symmetries.Guy Hetzroni & Noah Stemeroff - 2023 - In Carl Posy & Yemima Ben-Menahem (eds.), Mathematical Knowledge, Objects and Applications: Essays in Memory of Mark Steiner. Springer. pp. 229-262.
    Gauge symmetries provide one of the most puzzling examples of the applicability of mathematics in physics. The presented work focuses on the role of analogical reasoning in the gauge argument, motivated by Mark Steiner’s claim that the application of the gauge principle relies on a Pythagorean analogy whose success undermines naturalist philosophy. In this paper, we present two different views concerning the analogy between gravity, electromagnetism, and nuclear interactions, each providing a different philosophical response to the problem of the applicability (...)
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  31. Epistemic Dependence and Understanding: Reformulating through Symmetry.Josh Hunt - 2023 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 74 (4):941-974.
    Science frequently gives us multiple, compatible ways of solving the same problem or formulating the same theory. These compatible formulations change our understanding of the world, despite providing the same explanations. According to what I call "conceptualism," reformulations change our understanding by clarifying the epistemic structure of theories. I illustrate conceptualism by analyzing a typical example of symmetry-based reformulation in chemical physics. This case study poses a problem for "explanationism," the rival thesis that differences in understanding require ontic explanatory differences. (...)
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  32. Are Dynamic Shifts Dynamical Symmetries?Caspar Jacobs - 2023 - Philosophy of Science 90 (5):1352-1362.
    Shifts are a well-known feature of the literature on spacetime symmetries. Recently, discussions have focused on so-called dynamic shifts, which by analogy with static and kinematic shifts enact arbitrary linear accelerations of all matter (as well as a change in the gravitational potential). But in mathematical formulations of these shifts, the analogy breaks down: while static and kinematic shift act on the matter field, the dynamic shift acts on spacetime structure instead. I formulate a different, `active' version of the dynamic (...)
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  33. The Coalescence Approach to Inequivalent Representation: Pre-QM ∞ Parallels.Caspar Jacobs - 2023 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 74 (4):1069-1090.
    Ruetsche ([2011]) argues that the occurrence of unitarily inequivalent representations in quantum theories with infinitely many degrees of freedom poses a novel interpretational problem. According to Ruetsche, such theories compel us to reject the so-called ideal of pristine interpretation; she puts forward the ‘coalescence approach’ as an alternative. In this paper I offer a novel defence of the coalescence approach. The defence rests on the claim that the ideal of pristine interpretation already fails before one considers the peculiarities of QM∞: (...)
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  34. 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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  35. 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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  36. Dimensional Analysis: Essays on the Metaphysics and Epistemology of Quantities.Mahmoud Jalloh - 2023 - Dissertation, University of Southern California
    This dissertation draws upon historical studies of scientific practice and contemporary issues in the metaphysics and epistemology of science to account for the nature of physical quantities. My dissertation applies this integrated HPS approach to dimensional analysis—a logic for quantitative physical equations which respects the distinct dimensions of quantities (e.g. mass, length, charge). Dimensional analysis and its historical development serve both as subjects of study and as a sources for solutions to contemporary problems. The dissertation consists primarily of three related (...)
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  37. Hamilton, Hamiltonian Mechanics, and Causation.Christopher Gregory Weaver - 2023 - Foundations of Science:1-45.
    I show how Sir William Rowan Hamilton’s philosophical commitments led him to a causal interpretation of classical mechanics. I argue that Hamilton’s metaphysics of causation was injected into his dynamics by way of a causal interpretation of force. I then detail how forces are indispensable to both Hamilton’s formulation of classical mechanics and what we now call Hamiltonian mechanics (i.e., the modern formulation). On this point, my efforts primarily consist of showing that the contemporary orthodox interpretation of potential energy is (...)
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  38. An analysis of the concept of inertial frame in classical physics and special theory of relativity.Boris Čulina - 2022 - Science and Philosophy 10 (2):41-66.
    The concept of inertial frame of reference in classical physics and special theory of relativity is analysed. It has been shown that this fundamental concept of physics is not clear enough. A definition of inertial frame of reference is proposed which expresses its key inherent property. The definition is operational and powerful. Many other properties of inertial frames follow from the definition, or it makes them plausible. In particular, the definition shows why physical laws obey space and time symmetries and (...)
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  39. 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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  40. Symmetry and Reformulation: On Intellectual Progress in Science and Mathematics.Josh Hunt - 2022 - Dissertation, University of Michigan
    Science and mathematics continually change in their tools, methods, and concepts. Many of these changes are not just modifications but progress---steps to be admired. But what constitutes progress? This dissertation addresses one central source of intellectual advancement in both disciplines: reformulating a problem-solving plan into a new, logically compatible one. For short, I call these cases of compatible problem-solving plans "reformulations." Two aspects of reformulations are puzzling. First, reformulating is often unnecessary. Given that we could already solve a problem using (...)
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  41. The Nature of a Constant of Nature: the Case of G.Caspar Jacobs - 2022 - Philosophy of Science 90 (4):797-81.
    Physics presents us with a symphony of natural constants: G, h, c, etc. Up to this point, constants have received comparatively little philosophical attention. In this paper I provide an account of dimensionful constants, in particular the gravitational constant. I propose that they represent inter-quantity structure in the form of relations between quantities with different dimensions. I use this account of G to settle a debate over whether mass scalings are symmetries of Newtonian Gravitation. I argue that they are not, (...)
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  42. Invariance, intrinsicality and perspicuity.Caspar Jacobs - 2022 - Synthese 200 (2):1-17.
    It is now standard to interpret symmetry-related models of physical theories as representing the same state of affairs. Recently, a debate has sprung up around the question when this interpretational move is warranted. In particular, Møller-Nielsen :1253–1264, 2017) has argued that one is only allowed to interpret symmetry-related models as physically equivalent when one has a characterisation of their common content. I disambiguate two versions of this claim. On the first, a perspicuous interpretation is required: an account of the models’ (...)
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  43. A Puzzle Concerning Local Symmetries and Their Empirical Significance.Sebastián Murgueitio Ramírez - 2022 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 73 (4):1021-1044.
    In the last 5 years, the controversy about whether or not gauge transformations can be empirically significant has intensified. On the one hand, Greaves and Wallace developed a framework according to which, under some circumstances, gauge transformations can be empirically significant—and Teh further supported this result by using the constrained Hamiltonian formalism. On the other hand, Friederich claims to have proved that gauge transformation can never be empirically significant. In this article, I accomplish two tasks. First, I argue that there (...)
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  44. Reversing the arrow of time.Bryan W. Roberts - 2022 - Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
    'The arrow of time' refers to the curious asymmetry that distinguishes the future from the past. Reversing the Arrow of Time argues that there is an intimate link between the symmetries of 'time itself' and time reversal symmetry in physical theories, which has wide-ranging implications for both physics and its philosophy. This link helps to clarify how we can learn about the symmetries of our world, how to understand the relationship between symmetries and what is real, and how to overcome (...)
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  45. 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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  46. 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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  47. Quantum reality: A pragmaticized neo-Kantian approach.Florian J. Boge - 2021 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 87 (C):101-113.
    Despite remarkable efforts, it remains notoriously difficult to equip quantum theory with a coherent ontology. Hence, Healey (2017, 12) has recently suggested that ‘‘quantum theory has no physical ontology and states no facts about physical objects or events’’, and Fuchs et al. (2014, 752) similarly hold that ‘‘quantum mechanics itself does not deal directly with the objective world’’. While intriguing, these positions either raise the question of how talk of ‘physical reality’ can even remain meaningful, or they must ultimately embrace (...)
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  48. An Algebraic Approach to Physical Fields.Lu Chen & Tobias Fritz - 2021 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 89 (C):188-201.
    According to the algebraic approach to spacetime, a thoroughgoing dynamicism, physical fields exist without an underlying manifold. This view is usually implemented by postulating an algebraic structure (e.g., commutative ring) of scalar-valued functions, which can be interpreted as representing a scalar field, and deriving other structures from it. In this work, we point out that this leads to the unjustified primacy of an undetermined scalar field. Instead, we propose to consider algebraic structures in which all (and only) physical fields are (...)
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  49. I ain’t afraid of no ghost.John Dougherty - 2021 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 88 (C):70-84.
    This paper criticizes the traditional philosophical account of the quantization of gauge theories and offers an alternative. On the received view, gauge theories resist quantization because they feature distinct mathematical representatives of the same physical state of affairs. This resistance is overcome by a sequence of ad hoc modifications, justified in part by reference to semiclassical electrodynamics. Among other things, these modifications introduce "ghosts": particles with unphysical properties which do not appear in asymptotic states and which are said to be (...)
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  50. What’s so special about initial conditions? Understanding the past hypothesis in directionless time.Matt Farr - 2021 - In Yemima Ben-Menahem (ed.), Rethinking the Concept of Laws of Nature: Natural order in the Light of Contemporary Science. Springer.
    It is often said that the world is explained by laws of nature together with initial conditions. But does that mean initial conditions don’t require further explanation? And does the explanatory role played by initial conditions entail or require that time has a preferred direction? This chapter looks at the use of the ‘initialness defence’ in physics, the idea that initial conditions are intrinsically special in that they don’t require further explanation, unlike the state of the world at other times. (...)
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