higher gauge transformation



physics, mathematical physics, philosophy of physics

Surveys, textbooks and lecture notes

theory (physics), model (physics)

experiment, measurement, computable physics

Differential cohomology



In gauge theory two configurations ϕ 1,ϕ 2\phi_1, \phi_2 of gauge fields may be different and still be equivalent: there may be a gauge transformation λ:ϕ 1ϕ 2\lambda \colon \phi_1 \to \phi_2 between them.

In higher gauge theory also gauge transformations themseves may be different but still equivalent: if there is a gauge-of-gauge transformation ρ:λ 1λ 2\rho \colon \lambda_1 \to \lambda_2 between them.

These higher order gauge transformations are maybe best known in the physics literature in terms of their infinitesimal approximation, the BRST complex: here the gauge transformations correspond to ghost fields and the gauge-of-gauge transformations to ghost-of-ghost fields.


A basic example of a gauge field that has higher order gauge transformations is the B-field. But also magnetic current, if described properly, exhibits higher gauge transformations, see at Dirac charge quantization.

For more see at geometry of physics.

Revised on December 28, 2013 14:29:09 by Urs Schreiber (