Spontaneous symmetry breaking

Physicists use the term “spontaneous symmetry breaking” when any one solution of a symmetric problem is not symmetrical, but the whole set of them is. This is precisely what happens with the quintic, or even the quadratic equation.

— January 10, 2004

— This Week’s Finds in Mathematical Physics (Week 201)

— John Baez

2012.07.26 Thursday ACHK