The Meaning of Spontaneous Symmetry Breaking (I): From a simple classical model

Publication Year:
2002
Usage 2138
Downloads 2138
Repository URL:
http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/563
Author(s):
Liu, Chuang
artifact description
This paper, part I of a two-part project, aims at answering the simple question 'what is spontaneous symmetry breaking?' by analyzing from a philosophical perspective a simple classical model. Related questions include: what does it mean to break a symmetry spontaneously? Is the breaking causal, or is the symmetry not broken but merely hidden? Is the meta-principle, 'no asymmetry in, no asymmetry out,' violated? And what is the role in this of random perturbations (or fluctuations)?