Falling Cats, Parallel Parking, and Polarized Light

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Robert Batterman
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preprint description
This paper addresses issues surrounding the concept of geometric phase or "anholonomy". Certain physical phenomena apparently require for their explanation and understanding, reference to toplogocial/geometric features of some abstract space of parameters. These issues are related to the question of how gauge structures are to be interpreted and whether or not the debate over their "reality" is really going to be fruitful.

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Geometric phase

In classical and quantum mechanics, the geometric phase, Pancharatnam–Berry phase (named after S. Pancharatnam and Sir Michael Berry), Pancharatnam phase or most commonly Berry phase, is a phase difference acquired over the course of a cycle, when a system is subjected to cycl...

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