Discrete gauge symmetry in continuum theories

Lawrence Krauss, Frank Wilczek

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

585 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1221-1223
Number of pages3
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Issue number11
StatePublished - Jan 1 1989
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Physics and Astronomy


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