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Fraser, Doreen
preprint description
Philosophical analysis of spontaneous symmetry breaking (SSB) in particle physics has been hindered by the unavailability of rigorous formulations of models in quantum field theory (QFT). A strategy for addressing this problem is to use the rigorous models that have been constructed for SSB in quantum statistical mechanics (QSM) systems as a basis for drawing analogous conclusions about SSB in QFT. Based on an analysis of this strategy as an instance of the application of the same mathematical formalism to different domains and as an instance of drawing analogies between domains, I conclude that certain structural explanations can be exported from QSM to QFT, but that causal explanations cannot.