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An Introduction to Spontaneous Symmetry Breaking

by Aron J. Beekman, Louk Rademaker, Jasper van Wezel

Submission summary

As Contributors: Aron Beekman · Louk Rademaker · Jasper van Wezel
Arxiv Link:
Date submitted: 2019-09-05
Submitted by: Beekman, Aron
Submitted to: SciPost Physics Lecture Notes
Domain(s): Theoretical
Subject area: Condensed Matter Physics - Theory


Perhaps the most important aspect of symmetry in physics is the idea that a state does not need to have the same symmetries as the theory that describes it. This phenomenon is known as spontaneous symmetry breaking. In these lecture notes, starting from a careful definition of symmetry in physics, we introduce symmetry breaking and its consequences. Emphasis is placed on the physics of singular limits, showing the reality of symmetry breaking even in small-sized systems. Topics covered include Nambu-Goldstone modes, quantum corrections, phase transitions, topological defects and gauge fields. We provide many examples from both high energy and condensed matter physics. These notes are suitable for graduate students.

Current status:
Editor-in-charge assigned

Submission & Refereeing History

Submission 1909.01820v1 on 5 September 2019

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