Symmetry Breaking  

In Quantum Theory > s.a. modified lorentz symmetry.
* Idea: A quantum theory may break symmetries that hold classically, either at the level of the theory itself or its solutions (the latter is spontaneous symmetry breaking, see below), and then some symmetries are lost, or may replace the symmetry group by a deformed one.
@ References: Amelino-Camelia gq/02-conf [quantum spacetime]; van Wezel & van den Brink AJP(07)jul [simple procedure]; Baker PhSc(11)jan [and spacetime]; Landsman SHPMP(13)-a1305.

Spontaneous Symmetry Breaking in Field Theory > s.a. critical phenomena; Mermin-Wagner Theorem; phase transitions; vector fields.
* Idea: Suppose we have a Lagrangian density \(\cal L\) which is invariant under a certain Lie group of transformations G; We say that the symmetry group G is broken to a subgroup G/H if the ground state of the theory is only invariant under the action of G/H; It will then also be degenerate, the subgroup H taking one vacuum into another.
* Rem: It must be then that the symmetry group G is not implementable by operators that establish the unitary equivalence between representations; Rather, the unitary operator that implements the symmetry (by Wigner's theorem) connects the folia of unitarily inequivalent representations.
* Mechanism: The way this usually happens is that the potential V in \(\cal L\) contains a parameter, say m, such that for some values of m the ground state has the same symmetries as \(\cal L\), and for some others it does not; if at high temperatures the effective potential V has a vacuum with symmetry group G and at low temperatures one with symmetry group G/H, as the system cools it may stay for some time in the symmetric, false vacuum, and then decay to the less symmetric, true vacuum.
* Symmetry restoring: It can be usually achieved by adding energy to the system, through a phase transition.
* Restrictions: It cannot occur in 1+1 dimensions, since in this case there is no well-posed theory of a massless scalar field.
@ General references: Cianciaruso et al a1408, a1604 [classical nature of ordered phases].
@ Vacuum decay: Beckwith mp/04 [by tunneling Hamiltonian]; Czech PLB(12)-a1112 [by "barnacle" instability]; > s.a. vacuum.

Nambu-Goldstone Bosons / Theorem > s.a. higgs mechanism.
* Idea: Every generator of a spontaneously broken Lie symmetry group G \(\mapsto) G/H gives rise to a collective boson excitation, a (Nambu-)Goldstone mode described by a field with values in G/H, or a massless particle called a Goldstone boson.
* Conditions: A spontaneous symmetry breaking gives rise to Goldstone bosons only in the case of a global symmetry breaking; In the gauge symmetry case the degenerate directions are gauge and don't correspond to physical modes; Both types however give rise to topological defects.
@ General references: Goldstone NC(61); Goldstone, Salam & Weinberg PR(62); Burgess ht/98-ln [primer], PRP(00)ht/98 [nuclear, particle and condensed-matter physics]; Chodos & Gallatin JMP(01)mp/00; Smeenk PhSc(07)dec [meaning of breaking of gauge symmetry]; Guralnik MPLA(11)-a1107 [and gauge invariance]; Friederich EJPS-a1107 [breaking of gauge symmetry]; Kartavtsev a1404-wd [proof revisited].
@ Known particles: Bjorken ht/01-conf [photon]; Kraus & Tomboulis PRD(02)ht [photon and graviton, Lorentz symmetry].
@ Spacetime symmetries: Low & Manohar PRL(02)ht/01; Kobayashi & Nitta PRL(14)-a1402 [and internal symmetries].
@ In 1+1 dimensions: Coleman CMP(73); Faber & Ivanov ht/02; Balachandran & Immirzi IJMPA(03)ht/02 [fuzzy].
@ Related topics: Strocchi PLA(00) [classical counterpart]; Bluhm & Kostelecký PRD(05)ht/04, Berezhiani & Kancheli a0808 [for breaking of Lorentzian symmetry]; Watanabe et al PRL(13)-a1303 [massive Nambu-Goldstone bosons]; news ns(14) sep [observation in superconductors].

Models and Examples > s.a. decoherence; effective quantum field theory; electroweak theory; mass [origin]; Peccei-Quinn Mechanism.
* Applications: Used in unified theories of fields in the early universe; Can lead to inflation.
* Models: To write down a phenomenological model that realizes a spontaneous symmetry breaking, it is convenient to choose a field valued in the new vacuum; e.g., an SU(2)-valued field in the SU(2) × SU(2) \(\mapsto\) SU(2) σ-model; One uses normally a spacetime scalar to break the symmetry, so that the vacuum expectation value will not break Poincaré invariance.
* Of Lorentz symmetry: It could arise in a theory with non-vanishing vacuum expectation values of vector fields.
* Physical examples: Crystals; Rotational levels of a deformed nucleus; The most deeply bound states of hadrons; Ferromagnets.
* Specific model: Consider the Lagrangian

\(\cal L\) = (∂aφ)(∂aφ) – m2φφ* – λ (φφ*)2 .

which has a global U(1) symmetry φ(x) \(\mapsto\) exp{iθ} φ(x); For m2 ≥ 0, the ground state is also symmetric with respect to U(1) transformations, while, for m < 0, the U(1) symmetry is spontaneously broken.
@ General references: Cho PRL(85); Kerbrat et al RPMP(89) [electroweak, geometric]; Vachaspati hp/97-ln [early universe, rev]; Witten BAMS(07) [applications to superconductors, four-manifold theory, and particle physics]; Rabinovici LNP(08)-a0708 [spacetime symmetries]; Jona-Lasinio PTP(10)-a1010.
@ Lorentz group: Yokoi PLB(01)ht/00 [2+1]; Chkareuli et al NPB(01) [non-observability, and symmetry generation].
@ Diffeomorphism group: Giddings PLB(91); Requardt a1203 [with gravitons as Goldstone modes]; Lin & Labun a1501 [low-energy effective theory]; Bluhm a1601-MG14 [gravity theories with background fields]; > s.a. Effective Field Theory; Induced Gravity.
@ And gravity: Ashtekar GRG(78) [due to gravitational interaction]; Helesfai CQG(08)-a0806 [in loop quantum gravity]; Meierovich JETP(09)-a0910 [2 extra dimensions, vector order parameter], PRD(10) [vector order parameter, covariant equations]; Wise JPCS(12)-a1112 [spontaneous breaking of Lorentz symmetry by an observer and Hamiltonian gravity]; Krasnov PRD(12)-a1112; > s.a. conformal gravity.
@ Other examples: Girotti et al PRD(03)ht/02 [non-commutative field theory]; Cseh & Tímár JPA(06) [2D interacting boson model, kinematics vs dynamics]; Petersen et al JHEP(09)-a0907 [U(1)N theories, patterns of remnant discrete symmetries]; Muñoz et al a1111 [classical model for spontaneous symmetry breaking]; Muñoz et al AJP(12)oct-a1205 [toy model]; Birman et al PRP(13) [in finite quantum systems]; Odagiri FP(14) [dilatation symmetry breaking and standard model gauge couplings]; Yoshimura PTEP(16)-a1604 [lepton-number violation]; Dong et al a1609 [many-body systems, quantitative]; > s.a. Chiral Symmetry; conformal symmetry; crystals [time crystals]; inflationary scenarios; PT Symmetry; supersymmetry; Time Reversal Symmetry Violation; topological defects.

References
@ Pedagogical intros, reviews: Crone & Sher AJP(91)jan; Haft ht/97; Tsou ht/98-conf; Bernstein AJP(11)jan [and Higgs mechanism]; Strocchi a1201 [Scholarpedia]; Hamilton a1512-ln [for mathematicians].
@ Historical: Brout & Englert ht/98-conf; Straumann hp/98-in [including elasticity and hydrodynamics]; Brout ht/02-conf; Englert ht/02-conf, ht/04-conf; Shirkov PU(09)-a0903, MPLA(09); Guralnik IJMPA(09)-a0907, a1110-proc; Sardella a1012/NCC [spontaneous breaking].
@ General: Nambu PRL(60); Nambu & Jona-Lasinio PR(61), PR(61); Abud & Sartori AP(83) [geometrical, classification]; Coleman 85; Giddings & Wilczek MPLA(90); Fujita et al ht/04 [criticism of Nambu & Jona-Lasinio]; Liu & Emch SHPMP(05) [2 accounts]; Fujita et al ht/05 [in quantum field theory, reinterpretation]; Birtea et al IJGMP(06); Pérez & Sudarsky IJMPA(11)-a0811 [symmetries of the vacuum]; Nambu IJMPA(09); Jona-Lasinio PTPS(10)-a1003-conf [conceptual, as analogy]; Baker & Halvorson SHPMP(13)-a1103 [unitarily inequivalent representations and unitary operators]; Fraser PhSc(12) [conceptual, quantum statistical mechanics vs quantum field theory]; Hamma et al PRA(16)-a1501 [and quantum mutual information]; Becchi a1607 [renormalizable theories].
@ Non-perturbative: Bender & Milton PRD(97)ht/96; Dzhunushaliev FPL(03)ht/02; Strocchi 05.
@ Michel's theorem: Michel CRAS(71); Gaeta & Morando AP(97)mp/02.
@ Related topics: Gaeta PRP(90) [and bifurcation]; D'Hoker & Weinberg PRD(94)hp [effective actions]; Lepora JHEP(99) [geometry of vacuum]; Tomasello et al EPL(11)-a1012 [and quantum correlations]; Bogoslovsky IJGMP-a1201 [phase transitions and Finslerian event space]; > s.a. Emergence.


main pageabbreviationsjournalscommentsother sitesacknowledgements
send feedback and suggestions to bombelli at olemiss.edu – modified 17 sep 2016