Authors
Richard Andrew Healey
University of Arizona
Abstract
Those looking for holism in contemporary physics have focused their attention primarily on quantum entanglement. But some gauge theories arguably also manifest the related phenomenon of nonseparability. While the argument is strong for the classical gauge theory describing electromagnetic interactions with quantum “particles”, it fails in the case of general relativity even though that theory may also be formulated in terms of a connection on a principal fiber bundle. Anandan has highlighted the key difference in his analysis of a supposed gravitational analog to the Aharonov-Bohm effect. By contrast with electromagnetism in the original Aharonov-Bohm effect, gravitation is separable and exhibits no novel holism in this case. Whether the nonseparability of classical gauge theories of non-gravitational interactions is associated with holism depends on what counts as the relevant part-whole relation. Loop representations of quantized gauge theories of non- gravitational interactions suggest that these conclusions about holism and nonseparability may extend also to quantum theories of the associated fields.
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DOI 10.1016/j.shpsb.2004.07.003
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References found in this work BETA

Quantum Gravity.Carlo Rovelli - 2007 - Cambridge University Press.
Relational Holism and Quantum Mechanics1.Paul Teller - 1986 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 37 (1):71-81.
Holism and Nonseparability.Richard A. Healey - 1991 - Journal of Philosophy 88 (8):393-421.
Philoophical Consequences of Quantum Theory.James T. Cushing & Ernan McMullin (eds.) - 1989 - University of Notre Dame Press.

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Citations of this work BETA

Holism and Structuralism in U(1) Gauge Theory.Holger Lyre - 2004 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 35 (4):643-670.
Categories and the Foundations of Classical Field Theories.James Owen Weatherall - forthcoming - In Elaine Landry (ed.), Categories for the Working Philosopher. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.
Holism and Nonseparability in Physics.Richard Healey - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Nonseparability, Classical, and Quantum.Wayne C. Myrvold - 2011 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 62 (2):417-432.

View all 11 citations / Add more citations

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