On the ambiguity of spontaneously broken gauge symmetry

  title={On the ambiguity of spontaneously broken gauge symmetry},
  author={W. Caudy and Jeff Greensite},
Local gauge symmetries cannot break spontaneously, according to Elitzur's theorem, but this leaves open the possibility of breaking some global subgroup of the local gauge symmetry, which is typically the gauge symmetry remaining after certain (e.g. Coulomb or Landau) gauge choices. We show that in an SU(2) gauge-Higgs system such symmetries do indeed break spontaneously, but the location of the breaking in the phase diagram depends on the choice of global subgroup. The implication is that… CONTINUE READING