In simple terms a gauge theory is one that has mathematical parameters, or “degrees of freedom” that can be changed without affecting the predictions of the theory.
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Will A New Neutrino Change The Standard Model?
As far as we can tell, mathematics is the language in which the universe is written. Our laws of physics are equations of motion, along with some associated constants. Previously we’ve talked a bit about the symmetries of these equations, and how they lead us to conserved quantities. But this is just the tip of the theoretical iceberg - sometimes investigating the symmetries of these equations predicts entirely new physics. The most remarkable example of this is the standard model of particle physics. You know, the most accurate physical theory in all of human history.
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