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Karim P Y Thebault, Sean Gryb
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preprint description
Starting from a generalized Hamilton-Jacobi formalism, we develop a new framework for constructing observables and their evolution in theories invariant under global time reparametrizations. Our proposal relaxes the usual Dirac prescription for the observables of a totally constrained system (`perennials') and allows one to recover the influential partial and complete observables approach in a particular limit. Difficulties such as the non-unitary evolution of the complete observables in terms of certain partial observables are explained as a breakdown of this limit. Identification of our observables (`mutables') relies upon a physical distinction between gauge symmetries that exist at the level of histories and states (`Type 1'), and those that exist at the level of histories and not states (`Type 2'). This distinction resolves a tension in the literature concerning the physical interpretation of the partial observables and allows for a richer class of observables in the quantum theory. There is the potential for the application of our proposal to the quantization of gravity when understood in terms of the Shape Dynamics formalism.

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