By the end of the 1970s, it was clear that all the known forces of nature (including, in a sense, gravity) were examples of gauge theories, characterized by invariance under symmetry transformations chosen independently at each position and each time. These ideas culminated with the finding of the W and Z gauge bosons (and perhaps also the Higgs boson). This important book brings together the key papers in the history of gauge theories, including the discoveries of: the role of gauge transformations in the quantum theory of electrically charged particles in the 1920s; nonabelian gauge groups in the 1950s; vacuum symmetry-breaking in the 1960s; asymptotic freedom in the 1970s. A short introduction explains the significance of the papers, and the connections between them.
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"J C Taylor recently edited a collection of original articles on gauge theory, starting with a few pages from Maxwell's 'Treatise'. The collection is well chosen, and is introduced by an instructive commentary. I find it especially useful since it included translations into English of several articles originally in German." C N Yang SUNY, Stony Brook "This is a fascinating and valuable collection, especially the earlier papers, some of which are not now well known. John Taylor's introductory commentary provides a clear and concise explanation of the context and significance of the papers." Tom Kibble Imperial College, London
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