The main-stream view seems to be that Weyl's 1918 paper Gravitation and Electricity was initially considered a failure for reasons first pointed out by Einstein. But these initial ideas were reapplied to quantum mechanics giving rise to the idea of gauge-invariance as a symmetry principle in physics in his 1929 paper, Electron and Gravitation

With hindsight today, did any of the ideas contained in his 1918 paper apply to classical physics?

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ This paper was one in a series of papers by Weyl in 1918-1920, where he developed ideas now associated with gauge theory while trying to unify gravity and electromagnetism. Unfortunately it was unphysical. Weyl returned to the gauge ideas again in 1929 in the context of quantum mechanics, Dirac used them to describe magnetic monopoles in 1930. But Yang and Mills rediscovered gauge theories independently in 1954, and not in a classical context, see hsm.stackexchange.com/questions/10/… $\endgroup$ – Conifold Jul 1 '15 at 0:49

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.