The empirical status of symmetries in physics

British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 51 (1):81-98 (2000)
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Abstract

Symmetries in physics are most commonly recognized and discussed in terms of their function in the mathematical formalism of the theories. Discussion of the observation of symmetries in nature is less common. This paper analyses the observation of particular symmetries such as Lorentz and gauge symmetries, distinguishing between direct observation of the symmetry itself and indirect evidence, the latter being the observation of some consequence of the symmetry are, in an important sense, directly observed, while local symmetries such as gauge symmetry are not.

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Citations of this work

Symmetry as an Epistemic Notion.Shamik Dasgupta - 2016 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 67 (3):837-878.
The Essence of Dispositional Essentialism.David Yates - 2013 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 87 (1):93-128.
Empirical Consequences of Symmetries.David Wallace & Hilary Greaves - 2014 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 65 (1):59-89.
Symmetries in Physics: Philosophical Reflections.Katherine Brading & Elena Castellani (eds.) - 2002 - New York: Cambridge University Press.
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.

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References found in this work

Science and Objectivity.Peter Kosso - 1989 - Journal of Philosophy 86 (5):245.
Science and objectivity.Peter Kosso - 1989 - Journal of Philosophy 86 (5):245-257.
Gauge theory and the geometrization of fundamental physics.Tian-Yu Cao - 1988 - In Harvey R. Brown & Rom Harré (eds.), Philosophical Foundations of Quantum Field Theory. Oxford University Press. pp. 117--33.
Fundamental manifestations of symmetry in physics.Joe Rosen - 1990 - Foundations of Physics 20 (3):283-307.

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