How to Choose a Gauge? The Case of Hamiltonian Electromagnetism

  title={How to Choose a Gauge? The Case of Hamiltonian Electromagnetism},
  author={Henrique Gomes and Jeremy Butterfield},
We develop some ideas about gauge symmetry in the context of Maxwell’s theory of electromagnetism in the Hamiltonian formalism. One great benefit of this formalism is that it pairs momentum and configurational degrees of freedom, so that a decomposition of one side into subsets can be translated into a decomposition of the other. In the case of electromagnetism, this enables us to pair degrees of freedom of the electric field with degrees of freedom of the vector potential. Another benefit is… 

Same-diff? Conceptual similarities between gauge transformations and diffeomorphisms. Part I: Symmetries and isomorphisms

The following questions are germane to our understanding of gauge-(in)variant quantities and physical possibility: how are gauge transformations and spacetime diffeomorphisms understood as symmetries,



The quasilocal degrees of freedom of Yang-Mills theory

Gauge theories possess nonlocal features that, in the presence of boundaries, inevitably lead to subtleties. In the $D+1$ formulation of Yang-Mills theories, we employ a generalized Helmholtz

Time-dependent symmetries: the link between gauge symmetries and indeterminism

Mathematically, gauge theories are extraordinarily rich — so rich, in fact, that it can become all too easy to lose track of the connections between results, and become lost in a mass of beautiful

Symmetry and gauge freedom

Classical physics as geometry

Gauging the boundary in field-space

  • H. Gomes
  • Physics
    Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics
  • 2019

On Symmetry and Conserved Quantities in Classical Mechanics

This paper expounds the relations between continuous symmetries and conserved quantities, i.e. Noether's ``first theorem'', in both the Lagrangian and Hamiltonian frameworks for classical mechanics.

The role of representational conventions in assessing the empirical significance of symmetries

This paper explicates the direct empirical significance (DES) of symmetries in gauge theory, with comparisons to classical mechanics. Given a physical system composed of subsystems, such significance