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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
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Liu, Chuang
Keywords: Physics, Fields and Particles, Symmetry
Depositing User: Program Committee
Date Deposited: 23 Mar 2003
Last Modified: 07 Oct 2010 15:11
Item ID: 1083
URI: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/1083

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