“Once people tell me what symmetry the system starts with and what symmetry it ends up with, and whether the broken symmetries can be interchanged, I can work out exactly how many bosons there are and if that leads to weird behavior or not,” Murayama said. “We’ve tried it on more than 10 systems, and it works out every single time.”
– Haruki Watanabe, co-author of the paper
To those who’ve followed studies on superfluidity and spontaneous symmetry-breaking, a study by Hitoshi Murayama and Haruki Watanabe at UC, Berkeley, will come as a boon. It simplifies our understanding of symmetry-breaking for practical considerations by unifying the behaviour of supercooled matter – such as BEC and superfluidity – and provides a workable formula to derive the number of Nambu-Goldstone bosons given the symmetry of the system during a few phases!
This is the R&D article that serves as a lead-in into the issue.
This is a primer on spontaneous symmetry-breaking (and the origins of the Higgs boson).
Finally, and importantly, the pre-print paper (from arXiv) can be viewed here. Caution: don’t open the paper if you’re not seriously good at math.
Science writer and editor in Bangalore, India.