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A How can gauge symmetry be broken?

  1. Jun 27, 2017 #1
    I was reading about the Higgs mechanism and I must say that I did not really follow the argument of how the gauge symmetry is broken.
    I think that my problem has to do with the more general question of how does a gauge symmetry get broken in general?
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  3. Jun 27, 2017 #2


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    Your question is very general. Is there something particular that you do not understand with spontaneous symmetry breaking?
  4. Jun 28, 2017 #3
    I think that I do not underatand how gauge symmetry can break in general.
    If this is too general, let me ask you something else:
    If we choose a gauge(gauge fixing), does this break gauge symmetry? Some things that I have read point out to this although it does not make much sense to me since gauge symmetry is gauge invariance(I choose a gauge and nothing changes).

    EDIT: I have found an answer of yours in this post: https://www.physicsforums.com/threads/why-must-the-higgs-gauge-symmetry-be-broken.846533/
    and you stated that "This choice is not going to respect gauge symmetry and therefore the ground state is not gauge invariant." where the choice you referred to has to do with the choice of a ground state. What I don't understand is why doesn't the "new" ground state respect gauge symmetry.
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2017
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