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On gauge freedom and subsystems in quantum electrodynamics

Stokes, Adam (2014) On gauge freedom and subsystems in quantum electrodynamics. PhD thesis, University of Leeds.

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I analyse different decompositions of composite light-matter systems into constituent subsystems. I show that given a single description of a composite atomfield system, many different decompositions into “atom” and “field” subsystems can be made. I show that these decompositions are generally physically inequivalent, and that they can be understood as corresponding to different choices of gauge. I discuss some of the implications this has for the ontology of QED, and find experimental signatures that could be used to distinguish between different theoretical subsystem decompositions.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
ISBN: 978-0-85731-821-3
Academic Units: The University of Leeds > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences (Leeds) > School of Physics and Astronomy (Leeds)
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.617293
Depositing User: Repository Administrator
Date Deposited: 09 Sep 2014 15:25
Last Modified: 25 Nov 2015 13:45
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/6833

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