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Explaining Quantum Spontaneous Symmetry Breaking

Liu, Chuang and Emch, Gerard G. (2004) Explaining Quantum Spontaneous Symmetry Breaking. [Preprint]

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    Abstract

    Two alternative accounts of quantum spontaneous symmetry breaking (SSB) are compared and one of them, the decompositional account in the algebraic approach, is argued to be superior for understanding quantum SSB. Two exactly solvable models are given as applications of our account -- the Weiss-Heisenberg model for ferromagnetism and the BCS model for superconductivity. Finally, the decompositional account is shown to be more conducive to the causal explanation of quantum SSB.


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    Item Type: Preprint
    Keywords: symmetry, spontaneous symmetry breaking, macroscopic limit, quantum statistical mechanics, quantum field theory, explanation
    Subjects: Specific Sciences > Physics > Classical Physics
    General Issues > Explanation
    Specific Sciences > Physics > Statistical Mechanics/Thermodynamics
    Specific Sciences > Physics > Quantum Field Theory
    Depositing User: Chuang Liu
    Date Deposited: 31 May 2004
    Last Modified: 07 Oct 2010 11:12
    Item ID: 1778
    URI: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/1778

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