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Why surplus structure is not superfluous

Nguyen, James, Teh, Nicholas J. and Wells, Laura (2018) Why surplus structure is not superfluous. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science. ISSN 0007-0882

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Identification Number: 10.1093/bjps/axy026


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.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2017 The Authors
Divisions: Philosophy, Logic and Scientific Method
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > B Philosophy (General)
Date Deposited: 15 Dec 2017 14:19
Last Modified: 19 Jul 2024 03:12

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