Historical roots of gauge invariance
J. D. Jackson
UC Berkeley/LBNL

Abstract
A number of reviews of gauge theories cover the period from about 1929 (Weyl's major paper on the subject) to the present day, with stress on the post-Yang-Mills epoch. I discuss the "pre-history" of the subject, starting with Ampere, Neumann, Weber, and others, and the debates over the "correct" form of the vector potential. The story continues with Maxwell, Lorenz, Helmholtz, Clausius, and Lorentz by which time the idea of different, equivalent gauges for the potentials in classical electromagnetism had been clarified completely. We then come to the annus mirabilus, 1926, with Fock's discovery of the phase transformation of the wave function that must accompany a gauge change of the potentials. The unfair belittlement of the contributions of Lorenz and Fock are aired.
Portraits of all the "electricians" will be presented as the story unfolds.
[Reference: J. D. Jackson and Lev Okun, Rev. Mod. Phys. Vol. 73, 663- 680 (2001)]


Dave Jackson is a a particle theorist who served as Acting Head of the FNAL Theoretical Physics Department in 1972-73. Now Emeritus, he has been at Berkeley since 1967. He is the author of a well known text, Classical Electrodynamics, and a 1992 essay on the founding of the Wine & Cheese seminar (copies available at the talk).