Repository URL:
http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/113
Author(s):
Holger Lyre
preprint description
The aim of this paper is twofold: First, to present an examination of the principles underlying gauge field theories. I shall argue that there are two principles directly connected to the two well-known theorems of Emmy Noether concerning global and local symmetries of the free matter-field Lagrangian, in the following referred to as "conservation principle" and "gauge principle". Since both these express nothing but certain symmetry features of the free field theory, they are not sufficient to derive a true interaction coupling to a new gauge field. For this purpose it is necessary to advocate a third, truly empirical principle which may be understood as a generalization of the equivalence principle. The second task of the paper is to deal with the ontological question concerning the reality status of gauge potentials in the light of the proposed logical structure of gauge theories. A nonlocal interpretation of topological effects in gauge theories and, thus, the non-reality of gauge potentials in accordance with the generalized equivalence principle will be favoured.

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