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First-Class Constraints, Gauge Transformations, de-Ockhamization, and Triviality: Replies to Critics, Or, How (Not) to Get a Gauge Transformation from a Second-Class Primary Constraint

Pitts, J. Brian (2022) First-Class Constraints, Gauge Transformations, de-Ockhamization, and Triviality: Replies to Critics, Or, How (Not) to Get a Gauge Transformation from a Second-Class Primary Constraint. [Preprint]

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Abstract

Recently two pairs of authors have aimed to vindicate the longstanding "orthodox" or conventional claim that a first-class constraint generates a gauge transformation in typical gauge theories such as electromagnetism, Yang-Mills and General Relativity, in response to the Lagrangian-equivalent reforming tradition, in particular Pitts, _Annals of Physics_ 2014. Both pairs emphasize the coherence of the extended Hamiltonian formalism against what they take to be core ideas in Pitts 2014, but both overlook Pitts 2014's sensitivity to ways that one might rescue the claim in question, including an additive redefinition of the electrostatic potential. Hence the bulk of the paper is best interpreted as arguing that the longstanding claim about separate first-class constraints is _either false or trivial_---de-Ockhamization (using more when less suffices by splitting one quantity into the sum of two) being trivial. Unfortunately section 9 of Pitts 2014, a primarily verbal argument that plays no role in other works, is refuted.

Pooley and Wallace's inverse Legendre transformation to de-Ockhamized electromagnetism with an additively redefined electrostatic potential, however, opens the door to a precisely analogous calculation introducing a photon mass, which shows that a _second-class primary_ constraint generates a 'gauge transformation' in the exactly same sense---a _reductio ad absurdum_ of the orthodox claim that a first-class constraint generates a gauge transformation _and a second-class constraint does not_. A _reductio_ using massive electromagnetism was presaged in Pitts 2014. Gauge freedom by de-Ockhamization does not require any constraints at all, first-class or second-class, because any dynamical variable in any Lagrangian can be de-Ockhamized into exhibiting trivial additive artificial gauge freedom by splitting one quantity into the sum of two. Physically interesting gauge freedom, however, is typically generated by a tuned sum of first-class constraints, not each first-class constraint alone.


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Item Type: Preprint
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Pitts, J. Brianjbp25@cam.ac.uk0000-0002-7299-5137
Keywords: gauge freedom, observables, constrained Hamiltonian dynamics, determinism
Subjects: General Issues > Scientific Metaphysics
General Issues > Determinism/Indeterminism
Specific Sciences > Physics > Fields and Particles
General Issues > Laws of Nature
General Issues > Operationalism/Instrumentalism
Specific Sciences > Physics
Specific Sciences > Physics > Quantum Gravity
Specific Sciences > Physics > Quantum Field Theory
Specific Sciences > Physics > Relativity Theory
Specific Sciences > Physics > Symmetries/Invariances
Depositing User: Dr. Dr. J. Brian Pitts
Date Deposited: 15 Nov 2022 18:56
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2022 18:56
Item ID: 21423
Subjects: General Issues > Scientific Metaphysics
General Issues > Determinism/Indeterminism
Specific Sciences > Physics > Fields and Particles
General Issues > Laws of Nature
General Issues > Operationalism/Instrumentalism
Specific Sciences > Physics
Specific Sciences > Physics > Quantum Gravity
Specific Sciences > Physics > Quantum Field Theory
Specific Sciences > Physics > Relativity Theory
Specific Sciences > Physics > Symmetries/Invariances
Date: 15 November 2022
URI: https://philsci-archive-dev.library.pitt.edu/id/eprint/21423

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