A gauge theory has internal degrees of freedom that do not affect the foretold physical outcomes of the theory. The theory has a Lie group of *continuous symmetries* of these internal degrees of freedom, *i.e.* the predicted physics under any transformation in this group on the degrees of freedom. ...

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67
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4answers
7k views

Gauge symmetry is not a symmetry?

I have read before in one of Seiberg's articles something like, that gauge symmetry is not a symmetry but a redundancy in our description, by introducing fake degrees of freedom to facilitate ...
16
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1answer
1k views

Diff(M) as a gauge group and local observables in theories with gravity

In a gauge theory like QED a gauge transformation transforms one mathematical representation of a physical system to another mathematical representation of the same system, where the two mathematical ...
11
votes
2answers
662 views

argument about fallacy of diff(M) being a gauge group for general relativity

I want to outline a solid argument (or bulletpoints) to show how weak is the idea of diff(M) being the gauge group of general relativity. basically i have these points that in my view are very solid ...
13
votes
4answers
1k views

To which extent is general relativity a gauge theory?

In quantum mechanics, we know that a change of frame -- a gauge transform -- leaves the probability of an outcome measurement invariant (well, the square modulus of the wave-function, i.e. the ...
3
votes
3answers
911 views

Counting degrees of freedom of gauge bosons

Gauge bosons are represented by $A_{\mu}$, where $\mu = 0,1,2,3$. So in general there are 4 degrees of freedom. But in reality, a photon (gauge boson) has two degrees of freedom (two polarization ...
11
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3answers
2k views

Is it really proper to say Ward identity is a consequence of gauge invariance?

Many (if not all) of the materials I've read claim Ward identity is a consequence of gauge invariance of the theory, while actually their derivations only make use of current conservation ...
12
votes
1answer
578 views

What is (meant by) a non-compact $U(1)$ Lie group?

In John Preskill's review of monopoles he states Nowadays, we have another way of understanding why electric charge is quantized. Charge is quantized if the electromagnetic U(l)em gauge group ...
14
votes
1answer
535 views

What is the conclusion from Aharonov-Bohm Effect?

What is the conclusion that we can draw from the Aharonov-Bohm effect? Does it simply suggest that the vector potential has measurable effects? Does it mean that it is a real observable in quantum ...
8
votes
2answers
468 views

What is the origin of the factor of $-1/4$ in the Maxwell Lagrangian?

I have seen numerous 'derivations' of the Maxwell Lagrangian, $$\mathcal{L} ~=~ -\frac{1}{4}F_{\mu \nu}F^{\mu \nu},$$ but every one has sneakily inserted a factor of $-1/4$ without explaining why. ...
2
votes
2answers
288 views

Two puzzles on the Projective Symmetry Group(PSG)?

Recently I'm studying PSG and I felt very puzzled about two statements appeared in Wen's paper. To present the questions clearly, imagine that we use the Shwinger-fermion ...
7
votes
3answers
1k views

Gravity as a gauge theory

Currently, (classical) gravity (General Relativity) is NOT a gauge theory (at least in the sense of a Yang-Mills theory). Why should "classical" gravity be some (non-trivial or "special" or ...
7
votes
2answers
724 views

How does non-Abelian gauge symmetry imply the quantization of the corresponding charges?

I read an unjustified treatment in a book, saying that in QED charge an not quantized by the gauge symmetry principle (which totally clear for me: Q the generator of $U(1)$ can be anything in ...
5
votes
3answers
362 views

What is the basis of gauge theory?

I’m learning about gauge concepts. I’ve always had the idea that by looking at a phenomenon from different viewpoints, that symmetries could be derived – in fact, that was what an equal sign ...
5
votes
3answers
684 views

Potential energy in Special Relativity

In Special Relativity, the energy of a free particle is $E^2=p^2c^2+m^2c^4$. But what would be the energy when there is potential energy? If it's something like $E=\sqrt{p^2c^2+m^2c^4}+U$, what ...
4
votes
3answers
430 views

Why gauge theories have such a success?

[This question was inspired by a identical question asked on a other forum] Note that we may morally include general relativity in the gauge theories. We may have several (some are deliberately ...
3
votes
1answer
80 views

How do we know what type of gauge field to add to a theory?

I've been watching Leonard Susskind's particle physics lectures and in one lecture, he discusses a very simple gauge theory. We have a complex scalar field $\phi(x)$ with Lagrangian $$\mathscr{L} = ...
3
votes
2answers
251 views

The meaning of potential in Bohm-Aharonov experiment

The Bohm-Aharonov experiment involves a magnetic field inside a cylinder which is zero outside that cylinder. Nonetheless it affects the electrons moving outside the cylinder. The explanation for this ...
7
votes
2answers
483 views

Why do we like gauge potentials so much?

Today I read articles and texts about Dirac monopoles and I have been wondering about the insistence on gauge potentials. Why do they seem (or why are they) so important to create a theory about ...
16
votes
2answers
651 views

Hilbert Space of (quantum) Gauge theory

Since quantum Gauge theory is a quantum mechanical theory, whether someone could explain how to construct and write down the Hilbert Space of quantum Gauge theory with spin-S. (Are there something ...
8
votes
2answers
365 views

Why do we seek to preserve gauge symmetries after quantization?

Gauge symmetries do not give rise to conservation laws via Noether's theorem, and they represent redundancies in our description of the system. So why do we want to keep them after quantization? For ...
6
votes
3answers
399 views

Is there any relationship between gauge field and spin connection?

For a spinor on curved spacetime, $D_\mu$ is the covariant derivative for fermionic fields is $$D_\mu = \partial_\mu - \frac{i}{4} \omega_{\mu}^{ab} \sigma_{ab}$$ where $\omega_\mu^{ab}$ are the spin ...
3
votes
2answers
387 views

primary constraints for constrained Hamiltonian systems

I would be most thankful if you could help me clarify the setting of primary constraints for constrained Hamiltonian systems. I am reading "Classical and quantum dynamics of constrained Hamiltonian ...
16
votes
2answers
409 views

Coulomb gauge fixing and “normalizability”

The Setup Let Greek indices be summed over $0,1,\dots, d$ and Latin indices over $1,2,\dots, d$. Consider a vector potential $A_\mu$ on $\mathbb R^{d,1}$ defined to gauge transform as $$ A_\mu\to ...
9
votes
3answers
408 views

Chern-Simons degrees of freedom

I'm currently reading the paper http://arxiv.org/abs/hep-th/9405171 by Banados. I am just getting acquainted with the details of Chern-Simons theory, and I'm hoping that someone can explain/elaborate ...
7
votes
1answer
764 views

Counting degrees of freedom for gravitational waves as a gauge field

Sean Carroll has a new popularization about the Higgs, The Particle at the End of the Universe. Carroll is a relativist, and I enjoyed seeing how he presented the four forces of nature synoptically, ...
4
votes
2answers
1k views

Gauge Invariance of the Hamiltonian of the electromagnetic field

The Hamiltonian for an electron of mass $m$ and charge $e$ in an exterior electromagnetic field is $$H=\frac{1}{2m}(p-(e/c)A)^2+e\varphi.$$ The corresponding (via canonical quantization) quantum ...
4
votes
2answers
435 views

Diff(M) and requirements on GR observables

This question is kind of inspired in this one: Diff(M) as a gauge group and local observables in theories with gravity The conundrum i'm trying to understand is how is derived the (quite) ...
7
votes
2answers
565 views

Vector Potential for Magnetic field when the field is not in simply-connected region

According to Poincare's Lemma, if $U\subset \mathbb{R}^n$ is a star-shaped set and if $\omega$ is a $k$-form defined in $U$ that is closed, then $\omega$ is exact, meaning that there's some ...
6
votes
2answers
999 views

Decomposition of a vectorial field in free-curl and free-divergence fields

Is it always possible to do that decomposition? I'm asking it because Helmholtz theorem says a field on $\mathbb{R}^3$ that vanishes at infinity ($r\to \infty$) can be decomposed univocally into a ...
4
votes
2answers
251 views

How many physical degrees of freedom does the $\mathrm{SU(N)}$ Yang-Mills theory have?

The $\mathrm{U(1)}$ QED case has two physical degrees of freedom, which is easy to understand because the free electromagnetic field must be transverse to the direction of propagation. But what are ...
4
votes
1answer
147 views

What is the constraint on the Gauge Potential in the Covariant Gauges?

One of the most common gauges in QED computations are the $R_{\xi}$ gauges obtained by adding a term \begin{equation} -\frac{(\partial_\mu A^{\mu})^2}{2\xi} \end{equation} to the Lagrangian. ...
5
votes
2answers
544 views

Gauge fixing and equations of motion

Consider an action that is gauge invariant. Do we obtain the same information from the following: Find the equations of motion, and then fix the gauge? Fix the gauge in the action, and then find the ...
3
votes
0answers
121 views

Is the $SU(2)$ flux defined in the context of Projective Symmetry Group(PSG) an observable quantity?

The $SU(2)$ flux defined in the context of PSG is as follows: Consider the mean-field Hamiltonian $H_{MF}=\sum(\psi_i^\dagger\chi_{ij}\psi_j+H.c.)$ description of a 2D lattice spin-model, the ...
2
votes
2answers
291 views

What evidence is there for the electroweak higgs mechanism?

The wikipedia article on the Higgs mechanism states that there is overwhelming evidence for the electroweak higgs mechanism, but doesn't then back this up. What evidence is there?
1
vote
1answer
410 views

Gauge theory in classical electromagnetism

I understand gauge theory as the theory of continuous transformation group which keeps Lagrangian (or dynamics) invariant. So some integral invariants could be found. In terms of classical ...
6
votes
2answers
396 views

Lagrangians combining terms with 1 and 2 derivatives

How are field theory Langrangians treated when some terms have 2 derivatives but others have only 1? Because the number of derivatives in a Lagrangian term is more easily even than odd, the ...
1
vote
2answers
107 views

What is the reason for the $ i \tau_2 $ - factor in the higgs coupling with up-type quarks?

The quark mass term in the Standard Model Lagrangian looks like this: $$ L = - \lambda_d \bar{Q}\phi d_R - \lambda_u \bar{Q} i \tau_2 \phi^* u_R $$ What is the reason for the $ i \tau_2 $ - ...
15
votes
2answers
985 views

Gauge fields — why are they traceless hermitian?

A gauge field is introduced in the theory to preserve local gauge invariance. And this field (matrix) is expanded in terms of the generators, which is possible because the gauge field is traceless ...
9
votes
2answers
537 views

Understanding Elitzur's theorem from Polyakov's simple argument?

I was reading through the first chapter of Polyakov's book "Gauge-fields and Strings" and couldn't understand a hand-wavy argument he makes to explain why in systems with discrete gauge-symmetry only ...
11
votes
0answers
290 views

Does the existence of instantons imply non-trivial cohomology of spacetime?

Gauge theories are considered to live on $G$-principal bundles $P$ over the spacetime $\Sigma$. For convenience, the usual text often either compactify $\Sigma$ or assume it is already compact. An ...
8
votes
1answer
417 views

Introduction to Gauge Symmetries: Good, Bad or Ugly?

I'm trying to come up with a good (as in intuitive and not 'too wrong') definition of a gauge symmetry. This is what I have right now: A dynamical symmetry is a (differentiable) group of ...
8
votes
2answers
543 views

Why do Faddeev-Popov ghosts decouple in BRST?

Why do Faddeev-Popov ghosts decouple in BRST? What is the physical reason behind it? Not just the mathematical reason. If BRST quantization is specifically engineered to make the ghosts decouple, how ...
13
votes
4answers
789 views

Can we measure an electromagnetic field?

As far as I can check, the Aharonov-Bohm effect is not -- contrary to what is claimed in the historical paper -- a demonstration that the vector potential $A$ has an intrinsic existence in quantum ...
13
votes
4answers
786 views

Nonlinear optics as gauge theory

the widely used approach to nonlinear optics is a Taylor expansion of the dielectric displacement field $\mathbf{D} = \epsilon_0\cdot\mathbf{E} + \mathbf{P}$ in a Fourier representation of the ...
12
votes
3answers
883 views

Why am I wrong about how to view gauge theory?

Edit: I know there have been some similar questions but I don't think any had quite articulated my particular confusion. If gauge symmetries are really just redundancies in our description accounting ...
10
votes
1answer
555 views

Large and small gauge transformations?

I've a questions about the difference between small and large gauge transformations (a small gauge transformation tends to the identity at spatial infinity, whereas the large transformations don't). ...
7
votes
1answer
403 views

Why mass terms are forbidden?

I would like to clarify my understanding on why mass terms in Lagrangians of gauge theories are forbidden. It's often repeated that particle masses are forbidden by electroweak symmetry because it is ...
6
votes
1answer
637 views

Faddeev-Popov ghost propagator in canonical quantization

Obtaining the propagator for the Faddeev-Popov (FP) ghosts from the path integral language is straightforward. It is simply $$\langle T(c(x) \bar c(y))\rangle~=~\int\frac{d^4 p}{(2\pi)^4}\frac{i ...
13
votes
2answers
342 views

Normalization of the Chern-Simons level in $SO(N)$ gauge theory

In a 3d SU(N) gauge theory with action $\frac{k}{4\pi} \int \mathrm{Tr} (A \wedge dA + \frac{2}{3} A \wedge A \wedge A)$, where the generators are normalized to $\mathrm{Tr}(T^a ...
8
votes
1answer
299 views

Gauge fermions versus gauge bosons

Why are all the interactions particle of a gauge theory bosons. Are fermionic gauge particle fields somehow forbidden by the theory ?