We point out that local symmetries can masquerade as discrete global symmetries to an observer equipped with only low-energy probes. The existence of the underlying local gauge invariance can, however, result in observable Aharonov-Bohm-type effects. Black holes can therefore carry discrete gauge charges a form of nonclassical hair Neither black-hole evaporation, wormholes, nor anything else can violate discrete gauge symmetries. In supersymmetric unified theories such discrete symmetries can forbid proton-decay amplitudes that might otherwise be catastrophic.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physics and Astronomy(all)