Breaking the symmetry. The first steps of a new way of thinking

Sardella, I. A. (2011) Breaking the symmetry. The first steps of a new way of thinking. Il nuovo cimento C, 34 (5). pp. 277-291. ISSN 1826-9885

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The concept of Spontaneous Symmetry Breaking (SSB) represents a real breakthrough for the present description of fundamental interactions by means of gauge theories. Although the underlying ideas were ancient, their formalization required a long time, due to epistemological obstacles and technical difficulties. In this paper, the main steps of SSB evolution are briefly outlined, from the introduction of the order parameter in the Thirties to the birth of the many-body theory at the end of the Fifties. In this context, the contribute of the capital L. Landau’s works on phase transitions and quantum fluids, as well as of the seminal ideas of F. London, is highlighted, and the phenomenological approach in theoretical physics (whose features are schematically underlined) is showed to be crucial in the rising field of complex systems.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: History of science ; Phase transitions: general studies ; Superfluid transition and critical phenomena ; Spontaneous breaking of gauge symmetries
Subjects: 500 Scienze naturali e Matematica > 530 Fisica
Depositing User: Marina Spanti
Date Deposited: 10 Apr 2020 13:55
Last Modified: 10 Apr 2020 13:55

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