High Energy Physics Seminars

ics SPECIAL HIGH ENERGY SEMINAR. Please note day and time!!
Monday, August 18, 2003
3:00 PM
Physics Building, Room 313
Note special date.
Note special time.
Note special room.
Kim Splittorff
State University of New York, Stony Brook
"Elitzur's theorem and the sign problem"
ABSTRACT:
Elitzur's theorem stating the impossibility of spontaneous breaking of local symmetries in a gauge theory is reexamined. The existing proofs of this theorem rely on gauge invariance as well as positivity of the weight in the Euclidean partition function. We examine the validity of Elitzur's theorem in gauge theories for which the Euclidean measure of the partition function is not positive definite. We find that Elitzur's theorem does not follow from gauge invariance alone. We formulate a general criterion under which spontaneous breaking of local symmetries in a gauge theory is excluded. Finally we illustrate the results in an exactly solvable two dimensional abelian gauge theory.

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