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10answers
2k 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 ...
19
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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 ...
16
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0answers
238 views

Symmetries of the Standard Model: exact, anomalous, spontaneously broken

There are a number of possible symmetries in fundamental physics, such as: Lorentz invariance (or actually, Poincaré invariance, which can itself be broken down into translation invariance and ...
14
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2answers
1k 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 ...
14
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1answer
406 views

Spontaneous breaking of Lorentz invariance in gauge theories

I was browsing through the hep-th arXiv and came across this article: Spontaneous Lorentz Violation in Gauge Theories. A. P. Balachandran, S. Vaidya. arXiv:1302.3406 [hep-th]. (Submitted on 14 ...
12
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1answer
361 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 ...
12
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2answers
1k views

Self energy, 1PI, and tadpoles

I'm having a hard time reconciling the following discrepancy: Recall that in passing to the effective action via a Legendre transformation, we interpret the effective action $\Gamma[\phi_c]$ to be ...
11
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0answers
212 views

“S-duality” between confinement and the Higgs mechanism?

I feel picked by the second to last sentence in this answer to a question about what would happen if EM and QCD were spontaneously broken, which says "In fact, there is a sense in theoretical ...
10
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1answer
273 views

What is the meaning of non-compactness in the context of $U(1)$ in gauge theories?

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
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1answer
567 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 ...
9
votes
2answers
125 views

In what sense do Goldstone bosons live in the coset?

Goldstone's theorem says that if a group, $G$, is broken into its subgroup, $H$, then massless particles will appear. The number of massless particles are given by the dimension of the coset, $G/H$. ...
9
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3answers
504 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 ...
9
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1answer
92 views

Breaking of E6 to SO(10) in heterotic string theory

Some of the heterotic string models have an $E_6\otimes E_8$ symmetry. Examples include some orbifold models, some free fermionic models and Gepner models. We can break the gauge symmetry by including ...
9
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0answers
95 views
+50

Explicit supersymmetry breaking fermion mass terms

I hope you can clear up my following confusions. In Girardello's and Grisaru's paper (Nuclear Physics B, 194, 65 (1982)) where they analysed the most general soft explicit supersymmetry breaking ...
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 ...
8
votes
1answer
2k 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
315 views

Dispersion of ferromagnetic ($E\propto k^2$) and antiferromagnetic ($E\propto k$) spin wave

The dispersion of ferromagnetic spin wave at low energy is $E\propto k^2$, while $E\propto k$ for antiferromagnetic case. Is there a simple/physical argument (such as symmetry) for these results? ...
8
votes
1answer
89 views

Which is the coupling between the photon and the SU(2)xU(1) gauginos, before symmetry breaking?

The photon field is the non chiral piece of SU(2)xU(1), independently of symmetry breaking or not, isn't it? But before symmetry breaking, each gauge boson has only a chiral gaugino as ...
8
votes
1answer
185 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
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1answer
580 views

Possibility of Bose-Einstein condensation in low dimensions

I remember having a problem (for practice preliminary exams at UC Berkeley) to prove that Bose-Einstein condensation(BEC) is not possible in two dimensions (as opposed to three dimensions): For ...
8
votes
1answer
173 views

Chiral perturbation theory: what is the Quark Condensate? why expand in $U$ rather than Goldstone fields?

I'm studying Chiral Perturbation Theory (ChPT) from Scherer's manuscript "Introduction to Chiral Perturbation Theory", available at http://arxiv.org/abs/hep-ph/0210398 What I am currently having ...
8
votes
0answers
178 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 ...
7
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3answers
282 views

Why is the Symmetry Group for the Electroweak force SU(2)xU(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 ...
7
votes
1answer
195 views

Precise statement of Mermin–Wagner theorem

Roughly speaking, Mermin-Wagner theorem states that continuous symmetries cannot be spontaneously broken at finite temperature in systems with sufficiently short-range interactions in dimensions ...
7
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2answers
334 views

Dynamical supersymmetry breaking and Witten index

Witten index, defined as ${\rm Tr}(-1)^F$, makes know if supersymmetry is spontaneously broken or not for a given model. But it is known that supersymmetry can be also broken dynamically and one can ...
7
votes
1answer
201 views

Where does the hidden supersymmetric sector of the MSSM come from?

At the end of Chapter 14 of the "Supersymmetry Demystified book" from Patrick Labelle it is mentioned that to constrain the number of allowed softly SUSY breaking terms, a shadow or hidden ...
7
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1answer
334 views

Time crystals : fake or revolution?

This article about "crystals of time" just appeared on the PRL website. Viewpoint: Crystals of Time (http://physics.aps.org/articles/v5/116) The authors (including famous Frank Wilczek) claim that ...
7
votes
1answer
197 views

Does measurement, quantum in particular, always increase the total entropy?

Measurement of a quantum observable (in an appropriate, old-fashioned sense) necessarily involves coupling to a system with a macroscopically large number of degrees of freedom. Entanglement with this ...
7
votes
1answer
66 views

A graphical proof that the $SU(2)/\mathbb{Z}_2$ vortex is non-orientable

The text, see [1], compares the vortex solutions of a spontaneously broken symmetry $U(1) \rightarrow 1$ and $SU(2)\rightarrow U(1) \rightarrow \mathbb{Z}_2$. The vortices can be classified by ...
7
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0answers
93 views

Simple argument for unexpected behavior in SUSY model

Consider a supersymmetric theory with 3 chiral superfields, $X, \Phi_1$ and $\Phi_2,$ with canonical Kahler potential and superpotential $$ W= \frac12 h_1 X\Phi_1^2 +\frac12 h_2 \Phi_2\Phi_1^2 + fX.$$ ...
6
votes
2answers
268 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)} ...
6
votes
2answers
526 views

Spontaneous symmetry breaking in classical mechanics, quantum mechanics and quantum field theory

I wondered if someone could help me understand spontaneous symmetry breaking (SSB) in classical mechanics, quantum mechanics and quantum field theory. Consider a Higgs-like potential, with a local ...
6
votes
1answer
250 views

Do spin-spin interactions break time reversal symmetry?

I'm sure the answer is yes, but how is this shown? Normally for a single spin-1/2 you have a time reversal operator: $-i \sigma_y \hat{K}$ where $\sigma_y$ is the second Pauli matrix and $\hat{K}$ is ...
6
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1answer
281 views

Where is the “true” Higgs if the LHC 125 GeV signal is rather a higher dimensional radion than a SM Higgs?

In this article, Lumo introduces and explains the idea (presented by the original authors in this paper) that the LHC signal at about 125 GeV could alternatively be interpreted as a higher ...
6
votes
1answer
147 views

Goldstone mode in O(N) (non-linear $\sigma$ model)

The question is does the Non-linear $\sigma$ model have a Goldstone mode? Consider a $O(N)$ mode for which the Hamiltonian is $H=J\sum_{i,j}\vec{n}_i \cdot \vec{n}_j$, where ...
6
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0answers
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+50

Finding the vacuum which breaks a symmetry

I will start with an example. Consider a symmetry breaking pattern like $SU(4)\rightarrow Sp(4)$. We know that in $SU(4)$ there is the Standard Model (SM) symmetry $SU(2)_L\times U(1)_Y$ but depending ...
6
votes
0answers
138 views

What is the difference and similarities between Stueckelberg mechanism and Higgs mechanism?

What is the difference and similarities between Stueckelberg mechanism and Higgs mechanism? They both make the gauge field massive. Is the Stueckelberg mechanism a special case about U(1) gauge fields ...
6
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0answers
80 views

Does the Standard Model plasma develop a spontaneous magnetisation at finite temperature?

Reference: arXiv:1204.3604v1 [hep-ph] Long-range magnetic fields in the ground state of the Standard Model plasma. Alexey Boyarsky, Oleg Ruchayskiy, Mikhail Shaposhnikov. The authors of this paper ...
6
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0answers
183 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
3answers
303 views

Will Cone standing on its tip, without any other force other than gravity topple?

A cone standing on its tip is considered to be in unstable equilibrium as a slightest force could topple it. So, if the cone is stood on its tip with no other force other than gravity (and the ...
5
votes
2answers
650 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 ...
5
votes
3answers
525 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. ...
5
votes
1answer
202 views

Could dark matter be a kind of Goldstone boson?

The common argument for vanishing Goldstone boson is like, if there is some massless particle generated from the spontaneous symmetry breaking, it should be detected. Since we never saw that, it is ...
5
votes
3answers
296 views

Higgs Boson: The Big Picture

First, please pardon the ignorance behind this question. I know a fair amount of math but almost no physics. I'm hoping someone can give me a brief "big picture" explanation of how physicists were ...
5
votes
1answer
71 views

Quantum Anomalies for Bosons

We know that there is Adler and Bell-Jackiw(ABJ) type anomalies for fermions. In some case, the ABJ anomaly affecs particle physics pheonomelogy, such as pion decays or kaon decays(in the case of ...
5
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1answer
104 views

SL(2,R) to SL(2,Z) in Type IIB String Theory

I heard from Prof. Katrin Becker (in her "SUSY for Strings and Branes - Part 1" lecture) that the classical $SL(2,\mathbb{R})$ symmetry in type IIB String theory becomes $SL(2,\mathbb{Z})$ in Quantum ...
5
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1answer
211 views

Goldstone's theorem and massless modes for $\phi^4$ theory

Consider a scalar field doublet $(\phi_1, \phi_2)$ with a Mexican hat potential $$V~=~\lambda (\phi_1^2+\phi_2^2-a^2)^2.$$ When $a=0$ this is a quartic potential and the symmetry is not ...
5
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1answer
255 views

Early time in the Big Bang

I am not a physicist, so I would really appreciate using a simple language for the explanation of my question. From what I understood at the early Big Bang the four fundamental forces were unified to ...
5
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1answer
200 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 $Q$ ...
5
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2answers
236 views

In spontaneous symmetry breaking, global symmetry broken by gauged subgroup?

My question is simple. Given a group $G$ broken to a subgroup $H$, gauging a possibly different subgroup Hg breaks explicitly the global symmetry $G$, generating what is known as pseudo-Goldstone ...