Explicit symmetry breaking
In theoretical physics, explicit symmetry breaking is the breaking of a symmetry of a theory by terms in its defining equations of motion (most typically, to the Lagrangian or the Hamiltonian) that do not respect the symmetry. Usually this term is used in situations where these symmetry-breaking terms are small, so that the symmetry is approximately respected by the theory. An example is the spectral line splitting in the Zeeman effect, due to a magnetic interaction perturbation in the Hamiltonian of the atoms involved.
- Castellani, E. (2003) "On the meaning of Symmetry Breaking" in Brading, K. and Castellani, E. (eds) Symmetries in Physics: New Reﬂections, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press
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