Saturday, August 11, 2007

Symmetries in Physics

The status and implications of symmetry in physics is of great philosophical interest, and this collection of papers from 2003 provides a decent insight into the issues engaging contemporary philosophers of physics. As a service to the impoverished, I here reproduce the contents, with hyperlinks to those articles freely downloadable.

1. Introduction
Part I. Continuous Symmetries:
2. Classic texts: extracts from Weyl and Wigner
3. On the significance of continuous symmetry to the foundations of physics, C. Martin
4. The philosophical roots of the gauge principle: Weyl and transcendental phenomenological idealism, T. Ryckman
5. Symmetries and Noether’s theorems, K. A. Brading and H. R. Brown
6. General covariance, gauge theories, and the Kretschmann objection, J. Norton
7. The interpretation of gauge symmetry, M. Redhead
8. Tracking down gauge: an ode to the constrained Hamiltonian formalism, J. Earman
9. Time-dependent symmetries: the link between gauge symmetries and indeterminism, D. Wallace
10. A fourth way to the Aharanov-Bohm effect, A. Nounou

Part II. Discrete Symmetries:
11. Classic texts: extracts from Lebniz, Kant and Black
12. Understanding permutation symmetry, S. French and D. Rickles
13. Quarticles and the identity of discernibles, N. Huggett
14. Handedness, parity violation, and the reality of space, O. Pooley
15. Mirror symmetry: what is it for a relational space to be orientable? N. Huggett
16. Physics and Leibniz’s principles, S. Saunders

Part III. Symmetry Breaking:
17: Classic texts: extracts from Curie and Weyl
18. Cross-fertilization in theoretical physics: the case of condensed matter and particle physics, G. Jona-Lasinio
19. On the meaning of symmetry breaking, E. Castellani
20. Rough guide to spontaneous symmetry breaking, J. Earman
21. Spontaneous symmetry breaking: theoretical arguments and philosophical problems, M. Morrison

Part IV. General Interpretative Issues:
22. Classic texts: extracts from Wigner
23. Symmetry as a guide to superfluous theoretical structure, J. Ismael and B. van Fraassen
24. Notes on symmetries, G. Belot
25. Symmetry, objectivity, and design, P. Kosso
26. Symmetry and equivalence, E. Castellani.

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