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An introduction to higher-form symmetries

Pedro R. S. Gomes

SciPost Phys. Lect. Notes 74 (2023) · published 11 September 2023


These notes are intended to be a pedagogical introduction to higher-form symmetries, which are symmetries whose charged objects are extended operators supported on lines, surfaces, and etc. This subject has been one of the most popular and effervescent topics of theoretical physics in recent years. Gauge theories are central in the study of higher-form symmetries, with Wilson and 't Hooft operators corresponding to the charged objects. Along these notes, we discuss in detail some basic aspects, including Abelian Maxwell and Chern-Simons theories, and $SU(N)$ non-Abelian gauge theories. We also discuss spontaneous breaking of higher-form symmetries.

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