Explaining quantum spontaneous symmetry breaking

Abstract
Two alternative accounts of quantum spontaneous symmetry breaking (SSB) are compared and one of them, the decompositional account in the algebraic approach, is argued to be superior for understanding quantum SSB. Two exactly solvable models are given as applications of our account -- the Weiss-Heisenberg model for ferromagnetism and the BCS model for superconductivity. Finally, the decompositional account is shown to be more conducive to the causal explanation of quantum SSB.
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Citations of this work BETA
Chris Smeenk (2006). The Elusive Higgs Mechanism. Philosophy of Science 73 (5):487-499.
Chris Smeenk (2006). The Elusive Higgs Mechanism. Philosophy of Science 73 (5):487-499.
David John Baker & Hans Halvorson (2013). How is Spontaneous Symmetry Breaking Possible? Understanding Wigner's Theorem in Light of Unitary Inequivalence. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 44 (4):464-469.
Koray Karaca (2013). The Construction of the Higgs Mechanism and the Emergence of the Electroweak Theory. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 44 (1):1-16.
Gérard G. Emch (2007). Models and the Dynamics of Theory-Building in Physics. Part II—Case Studies. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B 38 (4):683-723.

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