Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Gauging What's Real

I'm currently reading Gauging What's Real, by the philosopher of physics Richard Healey. This is an excellent treatise on the interpretation of classical and quantized gauge field theories. These theories are the prevailing theoretical paradigm employed in the standard model of particle physics. In fact, Healey's book forms the perfect counterpoint to my own, for whilst the balance of exposition in my own book is about 75% mathematical structures, 25% philosophy, the balance is somewhat reversed in Healey's text.

One of the criticisms I would make is that Healey's account of the mathematics of gauge field theory fails to employ the far simpler approach pioneered by Andrzej Derdzinski. The essence of Derdzinski's approach is that an interaction can be represented by an interaction bundle δ, a free particle field can be represented by a free-particle bundle σ, and the interacting particle field can be typically represented by the tensor product bundle δ ⊗ σ.

Nevetheless, Healey's book is much recommended.

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