In this paper, I discuss one form of the idea that spacetime and gravity might ‘emerge’ from quantum theory, i.e. via a holographic duality, and in particular via AdS/CFT duality. I begin by giving a survey of the general notion of duality, as well as its connection to emergence. I then review the AdS/CFT duality and proceed to discuss emergence in this context. We will see that it is difficult to find compelling arguments for the emergence of full quantum gravity (...) from gauge theory via AdS/CFT, i.e. for the boundary theory's being metaphysically more fundamental than the bulk theory. (shrink)
As a prolegomenon to understanding the sense in which dualities are theoretical equivalences, we investigate the intuitive `equivalence' of hyper-regular Lagrangian and Hamiltonian classical mechanics. We show that the symplectification of these theories provides a sense in which they are isomorphic, and mutually and canonically definable through an analog of `common definitional extension'.
This article investigates and resolves the question whether gauge symmetry can display analogs of the famous Galileo’s ship scenario. In doing so, it builds on and clarifies the work of Greaves and Wallace on this subject.
It is now well-known that Newton–Cartan theory is the correct geometrical setting for modelling the quantum Hall effect. In addition, in recent years edge modes for the Newton–Cartan quantum Hall effect have been derived. However, the existence of these edge modes has, as of yet, been derived using only orthodox methodologies involving the breaking of gauge-invariance; it would be preferable to derive the existence of such edge modes in a gauge-invariant manner. In this article, we employ recent work by Donnelly (...) and Freidel in order to accomplish exactly this task. Our results agree with known physics, but afford greater conceptual insight into the existence of these edge modes: in particular, they connect them to subtle aspects of Newton–Cartan geometry and pave the way for further applications of Newton–Cartan theory in condensed matter physics. (shrink)
This article uncovers a foundational relationship between the ‘gauge symmetry’ of a Newton-Cartan theory and the celebrated Trautman Recovery Theorem and explores its implications for recent philosophical work on Newton-Cartan gravitation.
Philosophers of physics and physicists have long been intrigued by the analogies and disanalogies between gravitational theories and gauge theories. Indeed, repeated attempts to collapse these disanalogies have made us acutely aware that there are fairly general obstacles to doing so. Nonetheless, there is a special case space-time dimensions) in which gravity is often claimed to be identical to a gauge theory. I subject this claim to philosophical scrutiny in this article. In particular, I analyse how the standard disanalogies can (...) be overcome in dimensions, and consider whether really licenses the interpretation of gravity as a gauge theory. Our conceptual analysis reveals more subtle disanalogies between gravity and gauge, and connects these to interpretive issues in classical and quantum gravity. 1 Introduction1.1 Motivation1.2 Prospectus2 Disanalogies3 Three-dimensional gravity and gauge3.1 gravity3.2 Chern–Simons3.2.1 Cartan geometry3.2.2 Overcoming obst-gauge via Cartan connections3.3 Disanalogies collapsed4 Two More Disanalogies4.1 What about the symmetries?4.2 The phase spaces of the two theories5 Summary and Conclusion. (shrink)
Rovelli’s “Why Gauge?” offers a parable to show that gauge-dependent quantities have a modal and relational physical significance. We subject the morals of this parable to philosophical scrutiny and argue that, while Rovelli’s main point stands, there are important disanalogies between his parable and Yang-Mills type gauge theory.
The equivalence principle has constituted one of the cornerstones of discussions in the foundations of spacetime theories over the past century. However, up to this point the principle has been considered overwhelmingly only within the context of relativistic physics. In this article, we demonstrate that the principle has much broader, super-theoretic significance: to do so, we present a unified framework for understanding the principle in its various guises, applicable to both relativistic and Newtonian contexts. We thereby deepen significantly our understanding (...) of the role played by the equivalence principle in a broad class of spacetime theories. (shrink)
Foundations of Relational Realism: A Topological Approach to Quantum Mechanics and the Philosophy of Nature by Michael Epperson and Elias Zafiris sets out to achieve three goals: to develop a version of Whiteheadian metaphysics that the authors call “relational realism”; to formalize relational realism in terms of category theory, in particular sheaf theory; and to use relational realism to solve the interpretative problems of quantum mechanics. These goals are ambitious, to say the least, and all this is leaving aside those (...) sections of FRR which argue that relational realism yields the key to understanding quantum gravity!The text is 388 pages long and comprises two parts. Part I, by Epperson, introduces relational realism and its application to quantum mechanics. Part II, by Zafiris, develops the sheaf theory formalism for relational realism. As the authors say, their exposition is “nonlinear”, and this feature of FRR, alon .. (shrink)
It is part of information theory folklore that, while quantum theory prohibits the generic cloning of states, such cloning is allowed by classical information theory. Indeed, many take the phenomenon of no-cloning to be one of the features that distinguishes quantum mechanics from classical mechanics. In this paper, we use symplectic geometry to argue that pace conventional wisdom, in the case where one does not include a machine system, there is an analog of the no-cloning theorem for classical systems. However, (...) upon adjoining a non-trivial machine system one finds that, pace the quantum case, the obstruction to cloning disappears for pure states. We then discuss the difference between this result and the quantum case, and show that it can be explained in terms of the rigidity of the theories' respective geometries. Finally, we discuss the relationship between this result and classical no-cloning arguments in the context of symmetric monoidal categories and statistical classical mechanics. (shrink)