Chapter

 Gauge theories and fibre-bundle spaces

Frank Arntzenius

in Space, Time, and Stuff

Published in print January 2012 | ISBN: 9780199696604
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191738333 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199696604.003.0006
 Gauge theories and fibre-bundle spaces

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This chapter discusses the implications of gauge theories for our conception of properties, and for the reality of fibre-bundle spaces. One way of understanding such theories is to claim that the only way in which properties at different locations can be compared is to ‘drag’ these properties to one and the same location, and then locally compare them. Tim Maudlin has argued that this means that we have to throw out the standard conception of what properties are: features that objects at different locations either share or do not share. This chapter argues that no such radical revision is justified: once one understands why fibre bundle spaces are existing physical objects one will find that all fundamental properties and relations will be such that path-independent sense can be made of their identity and difference at distant locations.

Keywords: fibre bundle spaces; gauge theories; properties

Chapter.  8221 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Metaphysics

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