Spontaneous symmetry breaking by Ioannis Rousochatzakis
Throughout the academic year a series of talks, aimed at undergraduates, will be presented by staff and postgraduate research students in the Department of Physics. The lectures will give the audience an insight into the research carried out by the speaker.
"I will talk about the ubiquitous phenomenon of spontaneous symmetry breaking (SSB) and its close relationship with that of symmetry. As we learn in our undergraduate studies, SSB takes place only for macroscopically large systems (the so-called 'thermodynamic limit’). As it turns out, however, direct fingerprints of SSB are already encoded in finite-size
miniatures of such systems. I will discuss how one can dig out these fingerprints from the exact energy spectra of these miniatures. This method has been extremely successful in the last 25 years for the numerical modelling of condensed matter systems, but the underlying principles go back to Nuclear Physics and have much broader generality."
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