The role of symmetry in physics
Department of theoretical physics and astrophysics
Symmetries play a crucial role in a construction of physical theories ranging from classical physics up to quantum field theories describing fundamental phenomena in the microworld. Typical symmetries in physics we are familiar with are Galilei principle, Lorentz invariance, gauge invariance and other internal symmetries. In this talk we concentrate on the special role of symmetry and what restrictions it imposes on theoretical models in classical physics, particle physics and non-equilibrium statistical physics.
An important topic-related concept is known as symmetry breaking, which can be caused either by external disturbances or internal instability. Theoretically interesting is spontaneous symmetry breaking that we illustrate on an example of Higgs mechanism and generation of magnetic dynamo.