nLab Gabriel Catren

My research interests span a range of topics from quantization of gauge theories such as general relativity and Yang-Mills theory to philosophical foundations of both gauge theories and quantum mechanics. With respect to the philosophy of gauge theories, I analyzed the physical content of the heuristic “gauge argument” in Yang-Mills theory and the ontological assumptions entailed by the passage from a global to a local symmetry, I distinguished the two independent first principles of Yang-Mills theory—namely internal relativity and internal background independence—, and I proposed a conceptual interpretation of the BRST formalism. With respect to the philosophy of quantum mechanics, I’m working on a formalism which had never been addressed—up to my knowledge—by philosophers of quantum mechanics, namely geometric quantization. I showed that the corresponding technical shift in the presentation of quantum mechanics is the formal counterpart of a radically different conceptual comprehension of quantum physics. Indeed, this new avenue for research in the philosophy of quantum mechanics has already led to unexpected results. In particular, I showed that quantum mechanics endorses a realistic quantum ontology of physical systems. This conclusion contests the widespread idea according to which the passage from classical mechanics to quantum mechanics comes hand in hand with a weakening of the notion of physical objectivity. According to the proposed quantum ontology, quantum mechanics provides—unlike classical mechanics—a complete description of all the objective properties of physical systems.

Selected writings

  • Towards a Group-Theoretical Interpretation of Mechanics, 2013 (PhilSci Archive)

On Cartan geometry/Cartan connections as the language for first-order formulation of gravity:

category: people

Last revised on March 2, 2024 at 08:43:47. See the history of this page for a list of all contributions to it.