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Gauge gravity and the unification of natural forces

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Abstract:

Physics seems to tell us that there are four fundamental force-fields in nature: the gravitational, the electromagnetic, the weak, and the strong (or interactions). But it also seems to tell us that gravity cannot possibly be a force-field, in the same sense as the other three are. And yet the search for a grand unification of all four force-fields is today one of the hottest pursuits. Is this the result of a simple confusion? This article aims at clarifying this situation by (i) reviewing the gauge-field programme and its conception of unification of force-fields, (ii) examining the various attempts at a gauge theory of gravity, and (iii) articulating the nature of "gauging" and using it to explain the difference between gravity and the other force-fields.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/0269859031000160612

Affiliations: Department of Philosophy, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida, USA

Publication date: July 1, 2003

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