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Why surplus structure is not superfluous

Nguyen, James and Teh, Nicholas J. and Wells, Laura (2017) Why surplus structure is not superfluous. [Preprint]

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Abstract

The idea that gauge theory has ‘surplus’ structure poses a puzzle: in one much discussed sense, this structure is redundant; but on the other hand, it is also widely held to play an essential role in the theory. In this paper, we employ category-theoretic tools to illuminate an aspect of this puzzle. We precisify what is meant by ‘surplus’ structure by means of functorial comparisons with equivalence classes of gauge fields, and then show that such structure is essential for any theory that represents a rich collection of physically relevant fields which are ‘local’ in nature.


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Item Type: Preprint
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Nguyen, Jamesjnguyen4@nd.edu
Teh, Nicholas J.nteh@nd.edu
Wells, Lauralwells@nd.edu
Additional Information: Accepted for publication in British Journal for Philosophy of Science
Keywords: gauge, representation, locality, surplus structure, theories, electromagnetism
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Physics > Classical Physics
Specific Sciences > Physics > Fields and Particles
General Issues > Models and Idealization
General Issues > Structure of Theories
Specific Sciences > Physics > Symmetries/Invariances
Depositing User: James Nguyen
Date Deposited: 04 Dec 2017 18:58
Last Modified: 04 Dec 2017 18:58
Item ID: 14166
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Physics > Classical Physics
Specific Sciences > Physics > Fields and Particles
General Issues > Models and Idealization
General Issues > Structure of Theories
Specific Sciences > Physics > Symmetries/Invariances
Date: 4 December 2017
URI: https://philsci-archive-dev.library.pitt.edu/id/eprint/14166

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