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Gauging What's RealThe Conceptual Foundations of Gauge Theories$
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Richard Healey

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780199287963

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2008

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199287963.001.0001

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The Aharonov–Bohm effect

The Aharonov–Bohm effect

(p.21) 2 The Aharonov–Bohm effect
Gauging What's Real

Richard Healey (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter introduces the Aharonov-Bohm effect and explains why it poses a challenge to classical conceptions of how electricity and magnetism act on charged particles. It offers a critical analysis of attempts to give a gauge-invariant, local account of the effect, and also of the view that the effect may be understood simply by appeals to geometry and topology. After analyzing what might be meant by ‘locality’ in this context, it distinguishes three different interpretations of electromagnetism and how it acts in the Aharonov-Bohm effect. It concludes with a preliminary defense of the view that classical electromagnetism is best understood here as postulating new, non-localized properties.

Keywords:   gauge-invariant, topology, classical, locality, electromagnetism, non-localized properties, charged particles, local

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