When a Symmetry Breaks

Date: 
Monday, March 18, 2019 - 4:15pm
Location: 
Room #1 LeConte Hall
Author/Speaker: 
Affiliation: 
UC Berkeley
Public Lecture: 
Yes
Webcast: 

What is common among a magnet, a flounder, a rack of laundry, your heart on the left of your body, and the Higgs boson? The concept of spontaneous symmetry breaking is ubiquitous among many natural phenomena. I'll describe the basic concept and its applications. In particular, the original concepts from Anderson, Nambu, Goldstone, and Higgs do not quite work in many systems that include a magnet on your fridge. I generalize the concept so that it is applicable to all known natural phenomena around us. I will also touch on recent related ideas on dark matter.