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20
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2answers
2k views

Norton's dome and its equation

Norton's dome is the curve $$h(r) = -\frac{2}{3g} r ^{3/2}.$$ Where $h$ is the height and $r$ is radial arc distance along the dome. The top of the dome is at $h = 0$. Via Norton's web. If we put ...
8
votes
2answers
2k views

Why do we need Higgs field to re-explain mass, but not charge?

We already had definition of mass based on gravitational interactions since before Higgs. It's similar to charge which is defined based on electromagnetic interactions of particles. Why did Higgs ...
36
votes
10answers
4k views

What is spontaneous symmetry breaking in QUANTUM systems?

Most descriptions of spontaneous symmetry breaking, even for spontaneous symmetry breaking in quantum systems, actually only give a classical picture. According to the classical picture, spontaneous ...
15
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2answers
668 views

What is (meant by) a non-compact $U(1)$ Lie group?

In John Preskill's review of monopoles he states Nowadays, we have another way of understanding why electric charge is quantized. Charge is quantized if the electromagnetic U(l)em gauge group ...
9
votes
2answers
635 views

Are there massless bosons at scales above electroweak scale?

Spontaneous electroweak symmetry breaking (i.e. $SU(2)\times U(1)\to U(1)_{em}$ ) is at scale about 100 Gev. So, for Higgs mechanism, gauge bosons $Z$ & $W$ have masses about 100 GeV. But before ...
10
votes
2answers
978 views

What is the role of the vacuum expectation value in symmetry breaking and the generation of mass?

Consider a theory of one complex scalar field with the following Lagrangian. $$ \mathcal{L}=\partial _\mu \phi ^*\partial ^\mu \phi +\mu ^2\phi ^*\phi -\frac{\lambda}{2}(\phi ^*\phi )^2. $$ The ...
4
votes
4answers
3k views

How does Higgs Boson get the rest mass? [duplicate]

Higgs Boson detected at LHC is massive. It has high relativistic mass means it has non-zero rest mass. Higgs Boson gives other things rest mass. But, how does it get rest mass by itself?
20
votes
1answer
1k views

Emergent symmetries

As we know, spontaneous symmetry breaking(SSB) is a very important concept in physics. Loosely speaking, zero temprature SSB says that the Hamiltonian of a quantum system has some symmetry, but the ...
9
votes
2answers
639 views

Understanding Elitzur's theorem from Polyakov's simple argument?

I was reading through the first chapter of Polyakov's book "Gauge-fields and Strings" and couldn't understand a hand-wavy argument he makes to explain why in systems with discrete gauge-symmetry only ...
8
votes
1answer
328 views

Vibrational anharmonic coupling and noise-induced spontaneous symmetry breaking in a hexagonal finite mechanical lattice

Happy holidays, everyone! The following is part question, part visual gallery, and part classical mechanics problem. Inspired by snow over the weekend I began simulating the vibrations of the ...
15
votes
1answer
522 views

Does the existence of Higgs imply the existence of Magnetic Monopoles?

I am aware that in theories with spontaneous symmetry breaking, Magnetic Monopoles can exist as topological solitons. Can the same be done with the Standard Model gauge group. I am familiar with the ...
13
votes
3answers
1k views

Why is the Symmetry Group for the Electroweak force $SU(2) \times U(1)$ and not $U(2)$?

Let me first say that I'm a layman who's trying to understand group theory and gauge theory, so excuse me if my question doesn't make sense. Before symmetry breaking, the Electroweak force has 4 ...
9
votes
2answers
455 views

Could spontaneous symmetry breaking happen again in our universe?

It is generally believed that $10^{-35}$ seconds after the Big Bang, the symmetry of a GUT was broken and after $10^{-12}$ seconds the electroweak force was broken: \begin{equation} \mathrm{SU(2)} ...
2
votes
1answer
586 views

Superconductor symmetry breaking

When water freezes continuous translational symmetry is broken. When a metal becomes superconducting, what is the symmetry that gets broken?
9
votes
3answers
1k views

How come a photon acts like it has mass in a superconducting field?

I've heard the Higgs mechanism explained as analogous to the reason that a photon acts like it has mass in a superconducting field. However, that's not too helpful if I don't understand the latter. ...
4
votes
1answer
2k views

Chiral anomaly and decay of the pion

I am told that if all classical symmetries were reflected as quantum symmetries, the decay of the neutral pion $$\pi^0 ~\longrightarrow~ \gamma\gamma$$ would not happen. Why would the conservation of ...
6
votes
1answer
296 views

Spontaneous symmetry breaking: How can the vacuum be infinitly degenerate?

In classical field theories, it is with no difficulty to imagine a system to have a continuum of ground states, but how can this be in the quantum case? Suppose a continuous symmetry with charge $Q$ ...
4
votes
1answer
134 views

Does the Lorentz invariance of equation of motion guarantee the Lorentz invariance of the solutions?

If I have a Lorentz invariant equation of motion, like Klein-Gordon equation, is the solution automatically guaranteed to be Lorentz invariant? I ask this question because of the discussion from Mark ...
3
votes
1answer
110 views

From which dimensionful constants does proton mass arise?

It is well known that the most of the proton (or any other hadron with light quarks) mass is not made up from quark masses, but it is dynamically generated by QCD mess inside. I've also heard that, ...
11
votes
2answers
3k views

Spontaneous Time Reversal Symmetry Breaking?

It is known that you can break P spontaneously--- look at any chiral molecule for an example. Spontaneous T breaking is harder for me to visualize. Is there a well known condensed matter system which ...
23
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1answer
579 views

How does the Super-Kamiokande experiment falsify SU(5)?

In his book "The Trouble With Physics", Lee Smolin writes that he is still stunned by the falsification of the $SU(5)$ Georgi-Glashow model by the null results of proton decay experiments. I should ...
9
votes
1answer
1k views

Topological order vs. Symmetry breaking: what does (non-)local order parameter mean?

Topological order are sometimes defined in opposition with the order parameter originating from a symmetry breaking. The latter one being possibly described by a Landau theory, with an order ...
8
votes
2answers
253 views

Do the standard cosmology models spontaneously break Lorentz symmetry?

In standard cosmology models (Friedmann equations which your favorite choice of DM and DE), there exists a frame in which the total momenta of any sufficiently large sphere, centered at any point in ...
5
votes
1answer
409 views

Who used the concept of symmetries first?

Who "invented" the concept of symmetries? This article is quite extensive, but it blurs the history with the modern understanding. http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/symmetry-breaking/ Some of the ...
5
votes
1answer
716 views

Spontaneous symmetry breaking in SU(5) GUT?

At the end of this video lecture about grand unified theories, Prof. Susskind explains that there should be some kind of an additional Higgs mechanism at work, to break the symmetry between the ...
4
votes
1answer
206 views

Why doesn't topological phase transition break any symmetry? Hidden symmetry?

This question may be superficial. However why all people saying this without a proof? Just like the "hidden variables" assumption in quantum mechanics, can one disproof that there is no hidden ...
4
votes
2answers
873 views

How is Meissner effect explained by BCS theory?

Someone says we can derive the GL equations from BCS theory, which can explain Meissner effect, but I want a more clear physical picture of this phenomena.
6
votes
1answer
111 views

Is Elitzur's theorem valid only in lattice field theory?

Elitzur's theorem, stating that spontaneous breakdown of a gauge symmetry is impossible, was originally proved for a lattice gauge theory. Is it valid in continuum field theory? Any ref?
6
votes
0answers
206 views

Breaking of Lorentz invariance

Thinking about the concept of symmetry breaking led me to the following question: Let's say that I have a theory described by a Lorentz invariant Lagrangian, and the true vacuum of the theory is not ...
5
votes
1answer
655 views

Difference between gapless excitations and Goldstone bosons in Condensed matter physics

I have been looking around on the web and in books to clarify this, but can't find a good explanation describing relationship/difference between gapless modes/excitations and Goldsone modes/bosons in ...
9
votes
3answers
543 views

Spontaneous breaking of Lorentz invariance

Is it possible to spontaneously break Lorentz invariance, i.e., have a Lagrangian that respects LI but a vacuum which does not? If it is possible, why isn't there even the slightest hint of the ...
4
votes
1answer
140 views

Why does the minimum energy field configuration require the fields to be constant?

I am having a hard time in understanding a well known statement always made in the context of field theory. Background Consider a classical real scalar field theory with Lagrangian density given by ...
3
votes
1answer
294 views

Does spontanous symmetry breaking affect Noethers theorem?

Does spontanous symmetry breaking affect the existence of a conserved charge? And how does depend on whether we look at a classical or a quantum field theory (e.g. the weak interacting theory)? ...
2
votes
0answers
70 views

Axion strings and spontaneously broken symmetry

I have two question about axion strings: Why their appearance is connected with spontaneously broken symmetry? How to demonstrate that? Why they are stable topological configurations (look to the ...
7
votes
1answer
180 views

Intuitive explanation of how hadron mass emerges from the strong force

I'm not familiar with QCD, but I'm looking for intuitive explanation of this phenomenon (it could be that easy explanation does not exist). What I've read is that large part of hadron masses arises ...
6
votes
2answers
201 views

Coupling constant in electroweak theory

Electroweak theory has two coupling constants before and after Spontaneous Symmetry Breaking (SSB) each one for $SU(2)_L$ and $U(1)_Y$, though they are connected by Weinberg angle after SSB. My ...
4
votes
2answers
195 views

The Higgs vacuum

Srednicki's "Quantum Field Theory", an electronic copy of which is freely available here, seems to state on p 205 that the states eq. (32.3) which differ by a phase factor that can range through ...
4
votes
1answer
71 views

Where does in GUT symmetry breaking $U(1)$ come from?

In GUTs one starts with some larger group, like $SU(5)$, which is then broken into smaller groups, for example $$SU(5) ~\longrightarrow~ SU(3) \times SU(2) \times U(1)$$ This can be seen, for ...
4
votes
1answer
213 views

What if EM or QCD was spontaneously broken?

Suppose that Standard Model Higgs mechanism broke electromagnetism, by e.g. veving the charged component of the doublet, so that the photon was massive with $m_\gamma\sim v$. Could such a Universe ...
3
votes
1answer
236 views

Why does total spin conservation law forbid the spin wave gap in Heisenberg magnets?

What is the explanation for total spin conservation forbidding the spin wave gap in Heisenberg magnets?
2
votes
5answers
178 views

Which way will the pencil fall?

Let's say you had a perfect pencil, with a point which was just that one point (see this question). The pencil's mass was perfectly distributed, and there are no flaws in the craftsmanship. Let's say ...
2
votes
1answer
314 views

Why are we allowed to spontaneously break the Higgs field symmetry?

In the lepton Lagrangian there are no mass terms allowed for the gauge bosons, due to gauge symmetry. To fix the problem of existing gauge boson masses, we introduce another field (Higgs) and say that ...
2
votes
1answer
506 views

Spontaneous symmetry breaking and 't Hooft and Polyakov monopoles

What is spontaneous symmetry breaking from a classical point of view. Could you give some examples, using classical systems.I am studying about the 't Hooft and Polyakov magnetic monopoles solutions, ...
0
votes
0answers
40 views

Where does the $\gamma_5$ here come from?

If we have that $$\delta \psi_L = i \epsilon_L^aT_a\psi_L$$ and $$\delta \psi_R = i \epsilon_R^aT_a\psi_R$$ And then we say that the above can be written in terms of $\epsilon^a$ and $\epsilon^a_5$ ...