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Spontaneous Symmetry Breaking: Its Meaning From a Simple Classical Model

Liu, Chuang (2002) Spontaneous Symmetry Breaking: Its Meaning From a Simple Classical Model. [Preprint]

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    Abstract

    This paper aims at answering the simple question `what is spontaneous symmetry breaking (SSB)?` by analyzing from a philosophical perspective a simple classical model which exhibits all the requisite properties of SSB. Related questions include: what does it mean to say that a symmetry is spontaneously broken? Is it broken without any cause, or is the symmetry not broken but merely hidden? Is the meta-principle, `no asymmetry in, no asymmetry out,` violated by SSB? And what is the role in this of random perturbations (or fluctuations)?


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    Item Type: Preprint
    Keywords: Physics, Fields and Particles, Symmetry
    Conferences and Volumes: [2002] Philosophy of Science Assoc. 18th Biennial Mtg - PSA 2002: Contributed Papers (Milwaukee, WI; 2002) > PSA 2002 Contributed Papers
    Depositing User: Program Committee
    Date Deposited: 23 Mar 2003
    Last Modified: 07 Oct 2010 11:11
    Item ID: 1083
    URI: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/1083

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