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Bertrand BERCHE

Groupe de Physique Statistique

UHP Nancy 1

References

– D.J. Gross, Gauge Theory-Past, Present, and Future ?, Chinese Journal of

Physics 30 955 (1992),

– C. Quigg, Gauge theory of the strong, weak, and electromagnetic interac-

tions, Westwiew Press, 1997,

– L.H. Ryder, Quantum ﬁeld theory, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge

1985,

– S. Weinberg, The quantum theory of ﬁelds, Vol. I and II, Cambridge Uni-

versity Press, Cambridge 1996,

– T.-P. Cheng and L.-F. Li, Gauge theory of elementary particle physics,

Oxford University Press, Oxford 1984,

– M. E. Peskin and D. V. Schroeder, An Introduction to Quantum Field

Theory, (ABP) 1995.

Introduction

Classical ﬁeld theories

Consider as an example the free particle Klein-Gordon equation

1

(∂

µ

∂

µ

+

m

2

)φ = 0 which follows from the conservation equation p

µ

p

µ

−m

2

= 0 with the

1. We forget about factors and c in this chapter.

1

2

correspondence p

µ

→i∂

µ

. We use the convention g

µν

= diag (+1, −1, −1, −1)

for the metric tensor. For later use, we choose the MKSA conventions, e.g.

p

µ

= (E/c, p) ≡ (E, p) and A

µ

= (φ/c,

A) ≡ (φ,

A), where an over-arrow

denotes a vector in ordinary space, or ∂

µ

= (

1

c

∂

∂t

, −

∇) ≡ (

∂

∂t

, −

∇). Most of

the time, and c are ﬁxed to unity.

The Lagrangian density from which this equation follows must satisfy

2

δ

δφ

∗

_

d

4

xL(φ, φ

∗

, ∂

µ

φ, ∂

µ

φ

∗

) =

∂L

∂φ

∗

−∂

µ

∂L

∂(∂

µ

φ

∗

)

= 0, (1)

∂L

∂φ

∗

= −m

2

φ, (2)

∂

µ

∂L

∂(∂

µ

φ

∗

)

= ∂

µ

∂

µ

φ. (3)

The ﬁrst condition is fulﬁlled if

L = −m

2

φ

∗

φ + terms in ∂

µ

φ

∗

∂

µ

φ, (4)

and the second if

3

L = ∂

µ

φ

∗

∂

µ

φ + terms in φ

∗

φ. (5)

Eventually the Klein-Gordon Lagrangian is given by

L = ∂

µ

φ

∗

∂

µ

φ −m

2

φ

∗

φ. (6)

The ﬁrst term is usually referred to as kinetic energy, although the space part

4

is reminiscent from local interactions in the context of classical ﬁeld theory,

and the second term to the mass term, since it corresponds to the mass of the

particles after quantization. The quantization procedure, not discussed here,

consists in the promotion of the classical ﬁelds into creation (or annihilation)

ﬁeld operators which obey, together with the corresponding conjugate mo-

menta, to canonical commutation relations. We will stay here at the level of

2. We consider complex scalar ﬁelds. For real ﬁelds, factors of

1

2

would appear here and

there.

3. We develop to obtain ∂

µ

∂L

∂(∂µφ

∗

)

= ∂

0

∂L

∂(∂0φ

∗

)

+∂

i

∂L

∂(∂iφ

∗

)

= ∂

µ

∂

µ

φ = (∂

0

∂

0

+∂

i

∂

i

)φ =

(∂

0

∂

0

− ∂

i

∂

i

)φ, the solution L = ∂

0

φ

∗

∂

0

φ − ∂

i

φ

∗

∂

i

φ = ∂

0

φ

∗

∂

0

φ + ∂

i

φ

∗

∂

i

φ = ∂

µ

φ

∗

∂

µ

φ (up

to terms in φ

∗

φ) follows.

4. We have a space and a time part in ∂

µ

φ∂

µ

φ =

1

c

2

¸

¸

¸

∂φ

∂t

¸

¸

¸

2

− [

∇φ[

2

, and only the time

derivatives are reminiscent of a kinetic energy.

3

classical ﬁeld theory, which means that although the ﬁelds correspond to the

wave functions of quantum objects in the ﬁrst-quantized form of the theory,

they are treated by classical ﬁeld theory (e.g. Euler-Lagrange equations) and

no quantum ﬂuctuations are allowed.

The idea behind non-Abelian gauge theory

According to Salam and Ward, cited by Novaes in hep-ph/0001283 :

Our basic postulate is that it should be possible to generate strong, weak,

and electromagnetic interaction terms ... by making local gauge transforma-

tions on the kinetic-energy terms in the free Lagrangian for all particles.

or Yang and Mills cited in A.C.T. Wu and C.N. Yang, Int. J. Mod. Phys. Vol.

21, No. 16 (2006) 3235 :

The conservation of isotopic spin points to the existence of a fundamental

invariance law similar to the conservation of electric charge. In the latter case,

the electric charge serves as a source of electromagnetic ﬁeld. An important

concept in this case is gauge invariance which is closely connected with (1)

the equation of motion of the electromagnetic ﬁeld, (2) the existence of a

current density, and (3) the possible interactions between a charged ﬁeld and

the electromagnetic ﬁeld. We have tried to generalize this concept of gauge

invariance to apply to isotopic spin conservation.

The origin of gauge invariance

5

The idea of “gauging” a theory, i.e. making local the symmetries, is due

to E. Noether, but gauge invariance was introduced by Weyl when he tried

to incorporate electromagnetism into geometry through the idea of local scale

transformations. From one point of space-time to an other at a distance dx

µ

,

the scale is changed from 1 to (1 + S

µ

dx

µ

) in such a way that a space-time

dependent function (of dimension of a length) f(x) is changed according to

f(x) →f(x+dx) = (f +∂

µ

fdx

µ

))(1 +S

µ

dx

µ

) ≃ f +[(∂

µ

+S

µ

)f]dx

µ

. (7)

The original idea of Weyl was to identify S

µ

to the 4−potential A

µ

, but

with the advent of quantum mechanics and the correspondence between p

µ

and i∂

µ

, it was later realized that the correct identiﬁcation is S

µ

↔ iqA

µ

.

Weyl nevertheless retained his original terminology of gauge invariance as an

invariance under a change of length scaled, or a change of the gauge.

5. See Cheng and Li pp235-236, and Gross p956

4

Abelian U(1) gauge theory

The complex nature of the ﬁeld as an internal structure

The prototype of gauge theory is the theory of electromagnetism, or Abe-

lian U(1) theory, where charge conservation is deeply connected to global

phase invariance in quantum mechanics (a connection probably made ﬁrst by

Hermann Weyl).

The complex scalar ﬁeld ϕ(x) (Schr¨ odinger or Klein-Gordon ﬁeld) can

be modiﬁed by a global phase transformation ϕ(x) → exp(iqα)ϕ(x) (Abe-

lian U(1) gauge transformation) which leaves the matter Lagrangian L =

∂

µ

ϕ

∗

∂

µ

ϕ−V ([ϕ[

2

) unchanged. We anticipate and introduce already the charge

q which couples the particle to the electromagnetic ﬁeld

6

. Let us write ϕ =

φ

1

+ iφ

2

and introduce a real two-component ﬁeld φ(x) =

_

φ

1

φ

2

_

. The gauge

transformation now appears as an Abelian rotation in a two-dimensional (in-

ternal) space.

Noether theorem and matter current density

Consider the Langrangian density

L

0

= ∂

µ

ϕ

∗

∂

µ

ϕ −V (ϕ

∗

ϕ). (8)

For later use, we will call this Lagrangian the function

L

0

= F(ϕ, ϕ

∗

, ∂

µ

ϕ, ∂

µ

ϕ

∗

). (9)

For any symmetry transformation,

δL

0

= δϕ

∗

∂L

0

∂ϕ

∗

+ δ(∂

µ

ϕ

∗

)

∂L

0

∂(∂

µ

ϕ

∗

)

+ ϕ

∗

→ϕ = 0. (10)

The notation ϕ

∗

→ϕ means that we add a similar term with all complex

numbers replaced by their conjugate. The global phase transformation ϕ →

ϕ

′

= ϕe

iqα

being such a symmetry, we put δϕ = iqαϕ and δ(∂

µ

ϕ) = iqα∂

µ

ϕ

6. Here we set = 1. In most of the relations, is restored through the substitution

q →q/, g →g/, or i∂

µ

→i∂

µ

.

5

in the expression of δL

0

to have

δL

0

= −iqα

_

ϕ

∗

∂L

0

∂ϕ

∗

+ ∂

µ

ϕ

∗

∂L

0

∂(∂

µ

ϕ

∗

)

_

+ ϕ

∗

→ϕ

= −iqα∂

µ

_

ϕ

∗

∂L

0

∂(∂

µ

ϕ

∗

)

_

+ ϕ

∗

→ϕ

= −α∂

µ

j

µ

. (11)

It follows that the Noether current

j

µ

= −iq

_

ϕ

∂L

0

∂(∂

µ

ϕ)

−ϕ

∗

∂L

0

∂(∂

µ

ϕ

∗

)

_

(12)

is conserved, ∂

µ

j

µ

= 0. The electric charge conservation thus appears as the

consequence of the invariance of the theory under global phase changes, this

is called a global gauge symmetry. Note that in the case of the Klein-Gordon

Lagrangian, the conserved current takes the form

7

j

µ

= −iq(ϕ∂

µ

ϕ

∗

−ϕ

∗

∂

µ

ϕ). (13)

Local gauge symmetry

Extending the gauge symmetry to local transformations requires the intro-

duction of a (vector) gauge ﬁeld which will be seen later as the vector potential

of electromagnetism. In other words, making local the gauge symmetry builds

the electromagnetic interaction.

Let us assume that the gauge transformation is local, i.e. ϕ → ϕ

′

=

ϕe

iqα(x)

≡ G(x)ϕ. We note that now ∂

µ

ϕ → ∂

µ

ϕ

′

= G(x)∂

µ

ϕ + (∂

µ

G(x))ϕ ,=

G(x)∂

µ

ϕ, and the derivative of the ﬁeld does not transform like the ﬁeld itself

does. Let us deﬁne the covariant derivative

8

T

µ

≡ ∂

µ

+ iqA

µ

(14)

where A

µ

is still to be deﬁned by its transformation properties. Like ϕ

′

=

G(x)ϕ, we demand that

T

µ

ϕ →(T

µ

ϕ)

′

≡ G(x)T

µ

ϕ. (15)

7. Note that at this point, the sign in front of the current density was arbitrary, but if one

wants to recover the usual expression of probability density current in quantum mechanics,

e.g. in the Schr¨odinger case,

j =

2mi

ϕ

∗

∇ϕ+ϕ

∗

→ϕ, it leads to the present charge current

density after being multiplied by q.

8. The term covariant refers to covariance with respect to the introduction of the local

transformation, and not to covariant-contravariant indices.

6

Since we have (T

µ

ϕ)

′

= (∂

µ

ϕ)

′

+iqA

′

µ

ϕ

′

= G(x)∂

µ

ϕ+(∂

µ

G(x))ϕ+iqA

′

µ

G(x)ϕ

and G(x)T

µ

ϕ = G(x)∂

µ

ϕ + iqA

µ

G(x)ϕ, we must require that iqA

′

µ

G(x) =

iqA

µ

G(x) −∂

µ

G(x) or, multiplying by G

−1

(x),

A

′

µ

= A

µ

+

i

q

G

−1

(x)∂

µ

G(x) = A

µ

−∂

µ

α(x). (16)

Demanding the invariance property of the kinetic term (according to Salam

and Ward cited above) in the Lagrangian density under a local gauge trans-

formation requires the introduction of a vector ﬁeld which obeys the usual

transformation law of the vector potential of electromagnetism through gauge

transformations. These transformations which appeared before as a kind of

mathematical curiosity of Maxwell theory are now necessary in order to pre-

serve local gauge invariance. In a sense, the interaction is “created” by the

principle of local gauge symmetry, while the principle of global gauge symme-

try implies the conservation of the electric charge.

The interaction of matter (as described by the Lagrangian density L

0

)

with the electromagnetic ﬁeld can be built in through essentially two dif-

ferent approaches. In a ﬁrst approach, we successively add terms to L

0

in

order to get at the end a locally gauge invariant Lagrangian. Since the pres-

cription of local gauge invariance induces Maxwell interactions, this should

automatically incorporate interaction terms in L. Starting with the observa-

tion that L

0

is no longer gauge invariant through local transformations, since

δL

0

= −α(x)∂

µ

j

µ

− (∂

µ

α(x))j

µ

now contains the second term, we have to

kill this last term by the introduction of a L

1

= −j

µ

A

µ

term

9

. This again

generates one more contribution in δ(L

0

+ L

1

) which is canceled if we add

L

2

= q

2

A

µ

A

µ

ϕ

∗

ϕ. The combination L

0

+ L

1

+ L

2

= L

0

+ L

int

is now locally

gauge invariant.

In a shorter approach, called minimal coupling, we simply replace the kine-

tic term ∂

µ

ϕ

∗

∂

µ

ϕ in L

0

by (T

µ

ϕ)

∗

(T

µ

ϕ) which was especially constructed in

order to be gauge invariant (under local gauge transformations). One also has

to add the pure ﬁeld contribution L

A

= −

1

4

F

µν

F

µν

to get the full Lagrangian

9. Note that here j

µ

is the current which was conserved in the absence of gauge inter-

action. The sign here is also coherent with the expression −(ρφ −

j

A).

7

density

10

L

tot

= L

0

+L

int

+L

A

≡ F(ϕ, ϕ

∗

, (T

µ

ϕ), (T

µ

ϕ)

∗

) +L

A

= (T

µ

ϕ)

∗

(T

µ

ϕ) −V (ϕ

∗

ϕ) +L

A

. (17)

The interaction terms are recovered from the r.h.s. (here in the Klein-Gordon

case) :

(T

µ

ϕ)

∗

(T

µ

ϕ) = (∂

µ

ϕ + iqA

µ

ϕ)

∗

(∂

µ

ϕ + iqA

µ

ϕ)

= ∂

µ

ϕ

∗

∂

µ

ϕ −iqA

µ

ϕ

∗

∂

µ

ϕ + iqA

µ

ϕ∂

µ

ϕ

∗

+ q

2

A

µ

A

µ

ϕ

∗

ϕ

= ∂

µ

ϕ

∗

∂

µ

ϕ + iq(ϕ∂

µ

ϕ

∗

−ϕ

∗

∂

µ

ϕ)A

µ

+ q

2

A

µ

A

µ

ϕ

∗

ϕ,(18)

and

L = ∂

µ

ϕ

∗

∂

µ

ϕ −V (ϕ

∗

ϕ) −j

µ

A

µ

+ q

2

A

µ

A

µ

ϕ

∗

ϕ −

1

4

F

µν

F

µν

. (19)

Now, since the functional form of the interacting matter Lagrangian is the

same as the form of the free Lagrangian with T

µ

instead of ∂

µ

, the conserved

Noether current in the presence of gauge interaction reads as

11

J

µ

= iqϕ

∗

∂L

0

∂(T

µ

ϕ)

∗

+ ϕ

∗

→ϕ

= iqϕ

∗

T

µ

ϕ + ϕ

∗

→ϕ.

= j

µ

−2q

2

ϕ

∗

ϕA

µ

, (20)

the last two lines being valid for the KG case. The interaction term can now

be written, up to second order terms

12

in A

µ

, as L

int

= −J

µ

A

µ

.

The equations of motion follow from Euler-Lagrange equations,

δS

tot

δA

µ

=

∂L

tot

∂A

µ

−∂

ν

∂L

tot

∂(∂

ν

A

µ

)

= 0, (21)

which simply yield

∂L

int

∂A

µ

= ∂

ν

∂L

A

∂(∂

ν

A

µ

)

. (22)

10. Remember that we call L

0

= F(ϕ, ϕ

∗

, ∂

µ

ϕ, ∂

µ

ϕ

∗

).

11. See e.g. V. Rubakov, Classical Theory of Gauge ﬁelds, Princeton University Press

2002, pp21-27.

12. These terms are particularly important, since they restore gauge invariance of the

interaction Lagrangian which otherwise would not exhibit this gauge invariance property

in the present form. Indeed, J

µ

is gauge invariant, but A

µ

is not.

8

The l.h.s. is

∂L

int

∂Aµ

= −j

µ

+ 2q

2

ϕ

∗

ϕA

µ

= −J

µ

while at the r.h.s. we have

∂L

A

∂(∂νAµ)

= −

1

4

∂

∂(∂νAµ)

F

αβ

F

αβ

= −

1

4

_

∂F

αβ

∂(∂νAµ)

F

αβ

+ F

αβ

∂F

αβ

∂(∂νAµ)

_

. Both terms in

parenthesis are equal to F

νµ

− F

µν

= −2F

µν

and eventually we obtain after

multiplication by −

1

4

,

13

∂

ν

F

µν

= −∂

ν

F

νµ

= −J

µ

(23)

and, since F

µν

is antisymmetric, we recover the conservation equation for J

µ

,

∂

µ

J

µ

= 0. (24)

Non-Abelian (Yang-Mills) SU(2) gauge theory

Internal structure

The global phase transformation ϕ(x) →exp(iqα)ϕ(x) as mentioned above

appears as an Abelian rotation in a two-dimensional (internal) space. This

gauge transformation, when extended to local phase transformations α →

α(x), generates the electromagnetic interaction. It is possible to generalize to

non-Abelian gauge transformations by extending the internal (isospin) struc-

ture. The ﬁeld is for example a 3-component real scalar ﬁeld

φ(x) =

_

_

φ

1

φ

2

φ

3

_

_

(25)

and the transformation corresponds to a rotation in the internal space

14

(the

corresponding charge is now written g)

φ(x) →exp(igτα)φ(x), (26)

with τ the generators (which do not commute, hence the name of non-Abelian)

of the rotations in three dimensions

τ

1

=

_

_

0 0 0

0 0 −i

0 i 0

_

_

, τ

2

=

_

_

0 0 i

0 0 0

−i 0 0

_

_

, τ

3

=

_

_

0 −i 0

i 0 0

0 0 0

_

_

. (27)

13. Note again that our choice of sign for the current density makes the expression co-

herent with the usual Maxwell equations.

14. See Weinberg II p3.

9

Use of bold font stands for vectors in the internal space and the scalar product

(with omitted) τα is a 3 3 matrix,

τα =

_

_

0 −iα

3

iα

2

iα

3

0 −iα

1

−iα

2

iα

1

0

_

_

. (28)

The transformation (being a rotation in 3 dimensions) is non Abelian and it

can be rewritten as

15

φ(x) → φ(x) − α φ(x). Here, α is a vector in the

internal space whose length α is the angle of rotation and whose direction is

the rotation axis.

Rotations in three space dimensions are equivalent to SU(2) transforma-

tions acting on complex two-component spinors

16

. The ﬁeld is now represented

by such a spinor,

ψ(x) =

_

ϕ

↑

(x)

ϕ

↓

(x)

_

. (29)

Each component is complex, but due to a normalization constraint we still

have three independent real scalar ﬁelds. Under a rotation in the internal

space, ψ(x) changes into

ψ(x) →exp

_

1

2

igσα

_

ψ(x) (30)

where σ are the three Pauli matrices

17

,

σ

1

=

_

0 1

1 0

_

, σ

2

=

_

0 −i

i 0

_

, σ

3

=

_

1 0

0 −1

_

, (32)

which obey the Lie algebra

[σ

i

, σ

j

] = 2iǫ

ijk

σ

k

(33)

15. See Ryder p108.

16. An O(3) transformation on φ corresponds to an SU(2) transformation on ψ =

_

ϕ

↑

(x)

ϕ

↓

(x)

_

with φ

1

=

1

2

(ϕ

2

↓

−ϕ

2

↑

), φ

2

=

1

2i

(ϕ

2

↑

+ ϕ

2

↓

), φ

3

= ϕ

↑

ϕ

↓

, see Ryder pp32-38.

17. There is nothing very mysterious to introduce two component spinors and the Pauli

matrices in the context of quantum mechanics. Indeed, the Pauli equation, which describes

the non-relativistic spin-

1

2

electron in an electromagnetic ﬁeld reads as

ˆ

H

_

ϕ

↑

(x)

ϕ

↓

(x)

_

=

_

1

2m

( p −q

A)

2

−qφ

_

ˆ

1I

_

ϕ

↑

(x)

ϕ

↓

(x)

_

−

q

2m

σ B

_

ϕ

↑

(x)

ϕ

↓

(x)

_

= E

_

ϕ

↑

(x)

ϕ

↓

(x)

_

. (31)

Note that here the “hat”

ˆ

H notation stands for a 2 by 2 matrix.

10

with ǫ

ijk

the totally antisymmetric tensor, and σα is a 2 2 matrix

σα =

_

α

3

α

1

−iα

2

α

1

+ iα

2

−α

3

_

(34)

Here

1

2

σ

i

are the generators of SU(2) transformations.

The two representations can be written in a uniﬁed way in component

form

18

. The (inﬁnitesimal) transformation of the ﬁeld (let say Ψ(x), for φ or

ψ) is written

δΨ

l

(x) = igα

a

(t

a

)

m

l

Ψ

m

(x). (35)

The α

a

’s are now the parameters of the inﬁnitesimal transformation. The

superscript a is used as internal space index, l and m denote the 2 compo-

nents (resp. 3) in the SU(2) representation (resp SO(3)) and t stands for the

generator (σ (resp. τ)).

Together with the internal degrees of freedom, the ﬁelds of course depend

on space-time position x

µ

.

Pure matter ﬁeld and Noether current

From now on, we choose the SU(2) representation. Let L

0

be a gauge

invariant matter Lagrangian density

L

0

= ∂

µ

ψ

†

∂

µ

ψ −V (ψ

†

ψ) (36)

where ψ

†

(x) = (ϕ

∗

↑

(x), ϕ

∗

↓

(x)) and V (ψ

†

ψ) is a potential to be deﬁned later.

The variation of the Lagrangian density yields

δL

0

= δψ

†

∂L

0

∂ψ

†

+ δ(∂

µ

ψ

†

)

∂L

0

∂(∂

µ

ψ

†

)

+

∂L

0

∂ψ

δψ +

∂L

0

∂(∂

µ

ψ)

δ(∂

µ

ψ). (37)

With the inﬁnitesimal transformation

δψ(x) =

1

2

igσαψ(x), (38)

δψ

†

(x) = −

1

2

igψ

†

(x)σα, (39)

which can be written in matrix form,

_

δϕ

↑

(x)

δϕ

↓

(x)

_

=

1

2

ig

_

α

3

α

1

−iα

2

α

1

+ iα

2

−α

3

__

ϕ

↑

(x)

ϕ

↓

(x)

_

(40)

(δϕ

∗

↑

(x), δϕ

∗

↓

(x)) = −

1

2

ig(ϕ

∗

↑

(x), ϕ

∗

↓

(x))

_

α

3

α

1

+ iα

2

α

1

−iα

2

−α

3

_

, (41)

18. See Weinberg II p2.

11

and using the equations of motion

∂L

0

∂ψ

−∂

µ

∂L

0

∂(∂

µ

ψ)

= 0,

∂L

0

∂ψ

†

−∂

µ

∂L

0

∂(∂

µ

ψ

†

)

= 0 (42)

we obtain the variation of the Lagrangian density

δL

0

=

_

−

1

2

igψ

†

σα

_

∂

µ

∂L

0

∂(∂

µ

ψ

†

)

+

_

−

1

2

ig∂

µ

ψ

†

σα

_

∂L

0

∂(∂

µ

ψ

†

)

+ (ψ

†

→ψ)

= −α∂

µ

j

µ

(43)

where the Noether current

j

µ

= −

_

−

1

2

igψ

†

σ

_

∂L

0

∂(∂

µ

ψ

†

)

−

∂L

0

∂(∂

µ

ψ)

_

1

2

igσψ

_

(44)

is conserved, ∂

µ

j

µ

= 0, since the variation of the Lagrangian density vanishes

for a symmetry.

The current density is a vector in internal space (isospin current density)

19

.

With the Lagrangian density given in eqn. (??), the conserved current is

explicitly given by

j

µ

=

1

2

igψ

†

σ∂

µ

ψ −∂

µ

ψ

† 1

2

igσψ (45)

=

1

2

ig(ϕ

∗

↑

, ϕ

∗

↓

)

_

0 1

1 0

_

∂

µ

_

ϕ

↑

ϕ

↓

_

i −()

∗

→()

+

1

2

ig(ϕ

∗

↑

, ϕ

∗

↓

)

_

0 −i

i 0

_

∂

µ

_

ϕ

↑

ϕ

↓

_

j −()

∗

→()

+

1

2

ig(ϕ

∗

↑

, ϕ

∗

↓

)

_

1 0

0 −1

_

∂

µ

_

ϕ

↑

ϕ

↓

_

k −()

∗

→()

=

1

2

ig(ϕ

∗

↑

∂

µ

ϕ

↓

+ ϕ

∗

↓

∂

µ

ϕ

↑

)i −()

∗

→()

+

1

2

ig(−iϕ

∗

↑

∂

µ

ϕ

↓

+ iϕ

∗

↓

∂

µ

ϕ

↑

)j −()

∗

→()

+

1

2

ig(ϕ

∗

↑

∂

µ

ϕ

↑

+ ϕ

∗

↓

∂

µ

ϕ

↓

)k −()

∗

→() (46)

where i, j et k are the unit vectors in isospin space.

19. See Quigg p34

12

Introduction of a gauge potential

20

Now we extend the formalism to local gauge transformations

ψ

′

(x) = exp

_

1

2

igσα(x)

_

ψ(x) ≡

ˆ

G(x)ψ(x), (47)

(where

ˆ

G(x) = exp

_

1

2

igσα(x)

_

is a 2 2 matrix) or locally to

δψ(x) =

1

2

igσα(x)ψ(x), (48)

but a problem occurs which will make the Lagrangian density L

0

not gauge

invariant. The fact that ∂

µ

ψ does not obey the same gauge transformation

than ψ itself corrupts the transformation of the kinetic energy. We have ∂

µ

ψ

′

=

(∂

µ

ˆ

G)ψ +

ˆ

G(∂

µ

ψ). Let us introduce a covariant derivative

21

T

µ

≡ ∂

µ

+ ig

ˆ

B

µ

. (49)

Here as before we use the short notation ∂

µ

for ∂

µ

ˆ

1I with

ˆ

1I the 2 by 2 iden-

tity matrix. The context suﬃces to distinguish between ∂

µ

and ∂

µ

ˆ

1I.

ˆ

B

µ

=

1

2

σB

µ

=

1

2

σ

a

B

a

µ

(summation over a understood) is another 2 by 2 matrix (in

fact there is one such matrix for each of the 4 space-time components, B

µ

is a

gauge potential (with three internal components which all are 4−space-time

vectors)). We demand the following transformation

T

µ

ψ(x) →T

′

µ

ψ

′

(x) =

ˆ

G(x)(T

µ

ψ(x)). (50)

We obtain T

′

µ

ψ

′

= (∂

µ

+ ig

ˆ

B

′

µ

)ψ

′

= (∂

µ

ˆ

G)ψ +

ˆ

G(∂

µ

ψ) + ig

ˆ

B

′

µ

ˆ

Gψ. From the

requirement (??), this quantity should be equal to

ˆ

G(∂

µ

+ig

ˆ

B

µ

)ψ =

ˆ

G(∂

µ

ψ)+

ig

ˆ

G(

ˆ

B

µ

ψ). It follows an equation for the transformation of

ˆ

B

µ

, ig

ˆ

B

′

µ

ˆ

Gψ =

ig

ˆ

G(

ˆ

B

µ

ψ) − (∂

µ

ˆ

G)ψ. Written in terms of operators, this equation is

ˆ

B

′

µ

ˆ

G =

ˆ

G

ˆ

B

µ

+

i

g

∂

µ

ˆ

G. We multiply both sides by

ˆ

G

−1

on the right to get

ˆ

B

′

µ

=

ˆ

G

ˆ

B

µ

ˆ

G

−1

+

i

g

(∂

µ

ˆ

G)

ˆ

G

−1

=

ˆ

G

_

ˆ

B

µ

+

i

g

ˆ

G

−1

(∂

µ

ˆ

G)

_

ˆ

G

−1

. (51)

In the case of electromagnetism, the local gauge transformation is perfor-

med by the operator (now an ordinary function) G

EM

(x) = exp(iqα(x)) with

20. See Quigg pp55-57

21. In analogy with electromagnetism where the covariant derivative iT

µ

is given by

p

µ

−qA

µ

with p

µ

= i∂

µ

, which yields T

µ

= ∂

µ

+ i

q

A

µ

.

13

α(x) some function, and eqn. (??) leads to the known transformation of the

gauge potential of electromagnetism,

A

′

µ

= G

EM

A

µ

G

−1

EM

+

i

q

(∂

µ

G

EM

)G

−1

EM

= A

µ

−∂

µ

α. (52)

From eqn. (??) and the transformation of

ˆ

B

µ

=

1

2

σB

µ

, we can deduce the

gauge transformation of B

µ

as well. Consider an inﬁnitesimal gauge transfor-

mation

ˆ

G(x) =

ˆ

1I +

1

2

igσα(x). (53)

Eqn. (??) reads as (to linear order in α

i

)

1

2

σB

′

µ

=

1

2

σB

µ

+

1

4

ig((σα) (σB

µ

) −(σB

µ

) (σα)) −

1

2

∂

µ

(σα). (54)

The term in the middle, written in components, has the form

1

2

iα

j

B

k

µ

(σ

j

σ

k

−σ

k

σ

j

) =

1

2

iα

j

B

k

µ

[σ

j

, σ

k

] = −ε

jkl

(α

j

B

k

µ

)σ

l

= −(αB

µ

)σ (55)

and it follows that

1

2

σB

′

µ

=

1

2

σB

µ

−

1

2

g(αB

µ

) σ −

1

2

∂

µ

(σα). (56)

Another common expression uses the identity (αB

µ

)σ = −2i

_

1

2

σα,

1

2

σB

µ

¸

such that

1

2

σB

′

µ

=

1

2

σB

µ

+ ig

_

1

2

σα,

1

2

σB

µ

¸

−

1

2

∂

µ

(σα). (57)

We can also write directly

B

′

µ

= B

µ

−gαB

µ

−∂

µ

α. (58)

The gauge transformation of B

µ

appears as a gradient term (like in electro-

magnetism) plus a rotation in internal space.

The ﬁeld-strength tensor and ﬁeld equations

22

Let us introduce a ﬁeld-strength tensor by the 2 by 2 matrix

ˆ

F

µν

=

1

2

σF

µν

(59)

22. See Quigg pp58-59

14

from which we construct the gauge-invariant kinetic energy

L

ﬁeld

= −

1

4

F

µν

F

µν

= −

1

2

Tr(

ˆ

F

µν

ˆ

F

µν

), (60)

where we used Tr(σ

a

σ

b

) = 2δ

ab 23

. The ﬁeld-strength tensor is an observable

quantity. It is thus supposed to be a “gauge scalar”, that is to be independent

of the choice of gauge

24

:

ˆ

F

′

µν

=

ˆ

G

ˆ

F

µν

ˆ

G

−1

. (61)

A simple transcription of the QED Faraday tensor F

µν

= ∂

µ

A

ν

−∂

ν

A

µ

is not

satisfactory, but if we note that the QED Faraday tensor can also be written

as

F

µν

=

1

iq

[T

µ

, T

ν

] = ∂

µ

A

ν

−∂

ν

A

µ

+ iq[A

µ

, A

ν

] (62)

(the commutator vanishes in the Abelian case), we can deﬁne

ˆ

F

µν

=

1

ig

[T

µ

, T

ν

] = ∂

µ

ˆ

B

ν

−∂

ν

ˆ

B

µ

+ ig[

ˆ

B

µ

,

ˆ

B

ν

]. (63)

It is easy to check that this deﬁnition has the correct gauge invariance pro-

perty.

In terms of “isovectors”, the same relation becomes

1

2

σF

µν

=

1

2

σ∂

µ

B

ν

−

1

2

σ∂

ν

B

µ

+ ig

_

1

2

σB

µ

,

1

2

σB

ν

¸

F

µν

= ∂

µ

B

ν

−∂

ν

B

µ

−gB

µ

B

ν

, (64)

where we used

_

1

2

σB

µ

,

1

2

σB

ν

¸

=

1

2

i(B

µ

B

ν

) σ. The non-Abelian character

of the theory is obvious in the deﬁnition of the ﬁeld-strength tensor. From the

ﬁeld Lagrangian (??) and the Euler-Lagrange equations

∂L

ﬁeld

∂B

a

µ

−∂

ν

_

∂L

ﬁeld

∂(∂

ν

B

a

µ

)

_

= 0, (65)

one can deduce the equations of motion (equivalent to the Maxwell equations

in the absence of matter charge current) :

∂

µ

F

µν

−gB

µ

F

µν

= 0. (66)

23. This kinetic energy has the same form as in QED, L

U(1) ﬁeld

= −

1

4

F

µν

F

µν

.

24. In the same sense than a Lorentz scalar (i.e. a contraction) does not depend on the

reference frame.

15

Note that the equations of motion are not as simple as the familiar Maxwell

equations which are linear. The Yang-Mills equations of motion on the other

hand are not linear, and this is due to the fact that the gauge ﬁeld carries the

charge associated to the interaction. Thus, even in the absence of matter, the

derivative of the ﬁeld tensor does not vanish.

In the massive case (which is not gauge invariant), a term

m

2

B

µ

B

µ

(67)

is added to the Lagrangian density and the (Proca-like) equations of motion

become

∂

µ

F

µν

−gB

µ

F

µν

= m

2

B

ν

. (68)

Construction of a gauge-invariant interaction

25

Since α(x) depends on space-time, the variations δ(∂

µ

ψ) (or δ(∂

µ

ψ

†

))

contain an extra term which contributes to δL

0

δL

0

=

_

−

1

2

igψ

†

σα(x)

_

∂

µ

_

∂L

0

∂(∂

µ

ψ

†

)

_

+

_

−

1

2

ig∂

µ

_

ψ

†

σ

¸

α(x) −

1

2

ig∂

µ

[α(x)] ψ

†

σ

_

∂L

0

∂(∂

µ

ψ

†

)

+ (ψ

†

→ψ)

= −α(x)(∂

µ

j

µ

) −(∂

µ

α(x))j

µ

(69)

The ﬁrst term vanishes thanks to Noether theorem, but the second term,

−(∂

µ

α(x))j

µ

persists, so L

0

is not gauge invariant under local gauge transfor-

mations. In order to compensate this new term, we must add another contri-

bution to the Lagrangian,

L

1

= −j

µ

B

µ

(70)

and demand that B

µ

obeys the gauge transformation (??). Now,

δL

0

+ δL

1

= −α(∂

µ

j

µ

) −(∂

µ

α)j

µ

−j

µ

δB

µ

−δj

µ

B

µ

, (71)

25. This section may be omitted. It presents step by step the construction of a gauge

invariant Lagrangian which is obtained faster by the minimal coupling requirement presen-

ted later. The approach used here follows the presentation of Ryder pp96-98 in the case of

Abelian U(1) gauge symmetry.

16

where only the ﬁrst term vanishes identically. Performing the variation of j

µ

yields

−δj

µ

= −

1

2

igδψ

†

σ∂

µ

ψ −

1

2

igψ

†

σδ(∂

µ

ψ) + (ψ

†

→ψ)

= −

1

2

ig

_

−

1

2

igψ

†

σα

_

σ∂

µ

ψ

−

1

2

igψ

†

σ

_

1

2

igσ∂

µ

αψ +

1

2

igσα∂

µ

ψ

_

+ (ψ

†

→ψ)

=

1

4

g

2

ψ

†

[σ, σα] ∂

µ

ψ +

1

4

g

2

∂

µ

ψ

†

[σ, σα] ψ +

1

4

g

2

ψ

†

¦σ, σ∂

µ

α¦ ψ

= −

1

2

ig

2

ψ

†

σ α∂

µ

ψ −

1

2

ig

2

∂

µ

ψ

†

σ αψ +

1

2

g

2

∂

µ

αψ

†

ψ (72)

We have used the identities [σ, σα] = −2iσ α and ¦σ, σ∂

µ

α¦ = 2∂

µ

α

which are proven by the use of Pauli matrices properties [σ

i

, σ

j

] = 2iε

ijk

σ

k

and ¦σ

i

, σ

j

¦ = 2δ

ij

1I. The three remaining terms of eqn. (??) are equal to

−(∂

µ

α)j

µ

= −

1

2

igψ

†

σ∂

µ

α∂

µ

ψ + (ψ

†

→ψ), (73)

−j

µ

δB

µ

= −gj

µ

(αB

µ

) −j

µ

∂

µ

α, (74)

−δj

µ

B

µ

= −

1

2

ig

2

ψ

†

(σ α) B

µ

∂

µ

ψ −

1

2

ig

2

∂

µ

ψ

†

(σ α) B

µ

ψ

+

1

2

g

2

∂

µ

αB

µ

ψ

†

ψ

= +gj

µ

(αB

µ

) +

1

2

g

2

∂

µ

αB

µ

ψ

†

ψ, (75)

where we have used the cyclic property (σα) B

µ

= (αB

µ

) σ. The sum

eventually gives only

δL

0

+ δL

1

=

1

2

g

2

∂

µ

αB

µ

ψ

†

ψ (76)

We still have to add another term which should eventually make the whole

Lagrangian gauge invariant,

L

2

=

1

4

g

2

ψ

†

B

µ

B

µ

ψ =

1

4

g

2

B

µ

B

µ

ψ

†

ψ. (77)

The variation of L

2

reads as

δL

2

=

1

4

g

2

(B

µ

δB

µ

ψ

†

ψ + δB

µ

B

µ

ψ

†

ψ +B

µ

B

µ

δ(ψ

†

ψ))

=

1

2

g

2

B

µ

δB

µ

ψ

†

ψ

= −

1

2

g

2

B

µ

(g(αB

µ

) + ∂

µ

α)ψ

†

ψ

= −

1

2

g

2

B

µ

∂

µ

αψ

†

ψ (78)

and we obtain the expected vanishing variation

δL

0

+ δL

1

+ δL

2

= 0 (79)

17

which proves that the gauge invariant interaction in the presence of gauge

ﬁelds contains two terms,

L

1

+L

2

= −j

µ

B

µ

+

1

4

g

2

B

µ

B

µ

ψ

†

ψ. (80)

The kinetic energy of the gauge ﬁeld itself was not included, like the free

particle contribution of eqn (??).

Covariant derivative, minimal coupling

The introduction of the gauge covariant derivative facilitates the calcula-

tions. The action should not depend on the gauge choice, since the equations of

motion are independent of the gauge. The Lagrangian density should thus be

a gauge scalar. The potential term is already a gauge scalar, since it depends

only on ψ

†

ψ which transforms covariantly according to ψ

′†

ψ

′

= (ψ

†

ˆ

G

−1

)(

ˆ

Gψ).

In order to become manifestly gauge covariant, the kinetic term should be

written as (T

µ

ψ)

†

(T

µ

ψ), since the covariant derivative of the ﬁeld T

µ

ψ was

constructed for the purpose of obeying the same gauge transformation than

the ﬁeld itself, (T

µ

′

ψ

′

)

†

(T

µ′

ψ

′

) = (T

µ

ψ)

†

ˆ

G

−1

ˆ

G(T

µ

ψ).

The minimal coupling is the prescription that the interaction with the

gauge ﬁeld is obtained by the replacement ∂

µ

ψ → T

µ

ψ is the Lagrangian

density of eqn. (??)

26

:

L = (T

µ

ψ)

†

(T

µ

ψ) −V (ψ

†

ψ) (81)

=

_

∂

µ

−

1

2

igσB

µ

_

ψ

†

_

∂

µ

+

1

2

igσB

µ

_

ψ −V (ψ

†

ψ)

= ∂

µ

ψ

†

∂

µ

ψ −

1

2

igψ

†

σB

µ

∂

µ

ψ +

1

2

ig∂

µ

ψ

†

σB

µ

ψ

+

1

4

g

2

ψ

†

(σB

µ

)(σB

µ

)ψ −V (ψ

†

ψ)

= ∂

µ

ψ

†

∂

µ

ψ −j

µ

B

µ

+

1

4

g

2

B

µ

B

µ

ψ

†

ψ −V (ψ

†

ψ) (82)

where in the last term use has been made of the identity

(σB

µ

)(σB

µ

) =

_

B

1

B

1

+ B

2

B

2

+ B

3

B

3

0

0 B

1

B

1

+ B

2

B

2

+ B

3

B

3

_

= B

µ

B

µ

1I.

(83)

This operation is called gauging the Lagrangian. Note that in the case of

fermionic particles, we have to use the Dirac Lagrangian density i

¯

ψγ

µ

∂

µ

ψ,

26. In an expression such that

_

∂

µ

−

1

2

igσB

µ

_

ψ

†

, it is understood that σB

µ

acts on ψ

†

on the left.

18

with

¯

ψ = ψ

†

γ

0

the adjoint spinor and γ

µ

the Dirac matrices

27

instead of the

kinetic energy ∂

µ

ψ

†

∂

µ

ψ, and the gauge invariant Lagrangian becomes

L =

¯

ψ(iγ

µ

T

µ

−m)ψ −

1

4

F

µν

F

µν

. (84)

Conserved current in the presence of gauge ﬁelds

In the presence of gauge ﬁelds, the conserved Noether current can be writ-

ten in terms of the covariant derivative,

J

µ

= −

_

−

1

2

igψ

†

σ

_

∂L

0

∂((T

µ

ψ)

†

)

−

∂L

0

∂(T

µ

ψ)

_

1

2

igσψ

_

(85)

In the case of the Lagrangian (??), it becomes

J

µ

=

1

2

igψ

†

σT

µ

ψ −(T

µ

ψ)

† 1

2

igσψ

=

1

2

igψ

†

σ

_

∂

µ

ψ +

1

2

igσB

µ

ψ

_

−

_

∂

µ

ψ

†

−

1

2

igσB

µ

ψ

†

_

1

2

igσψ

= j

µ

−

1

4

g

2

ψ

†

[σ, σB

µ

] ψ. (86)

We see that the conserved current in the presence of gauge ﬁelds has two

contributions, one coming from the ordinary matter current and the other

from the gauge ﬁeld itself. Using the identity [σ, σB

µ

] = −2iσ B

µ

, we get

J

µ

= j

µ

+

1

2

ig

2

ψ

†

σ B

µ

ψ. (87)

In component form we have

J

aµ

= j

aµ

−

1

2

ig

2

ψ

†

ε

abc

σ

b

B

cµ

ψ. (88)

The current density J

µ

is conserved in the ordinary sense

28

,

∂

µ

J

µ

= 0 (89)

while j

µ

satisﬁes a gauge-covariant conservation law

T

µ

j

µ

= 0. (90)

27. See e.g. Ryder pp43-46

28. See Weinberg II pp12-13

19

Now, the Euler-Lagrange equations of the matter ﬁeld in the presence of

the gauge ﬁeld contain a new term,

∂L

int

∂B

a

µ

+

∂L

ﬁeld

∂B

a

µ

−∂

ν

_

∂L

ﬁeld

∂(∂

ν

B

a

µ

)

_

= 0, (91)

and lead to the equations of motion in the presence of charged matter :

∂

µ

F

µν

−gB

µ

F

µν

= J

ν

. (92)

Spontaneous gauge symmetry breaking

Spontaneous breaking of global symmetries

Discrete symmetries

Let us ﬁrst consider spontaneous breaking of a global discrete symmetry.

It is illustrated by the case of the real scalar ﬁeld,

L =

1

2

∂

µ

φ∂

µ

φ −V (φ(x)), (93)

where V (φ(x)) is a potential which depends on the ﬁeld conﬁguration. We

will consider two cases

V (φ) =

λ

4

φ

4

±

µ

2

2

φ

2

, λ, µ

2

> 0. (94)

Case 1 with the sign + corresponds to a scalar ﬁeld theory with square mass

µ

2

. Let us ﬁrst build the Hamiltonian,

1 =

1

2

(∂

0

φ)

2

+

1

2

(∇φ)

2

+ V (φ). (95)

The ﬁeld with the lowest energy (also called the ground state conﬁguration,

which would be denoted φ

0

= ¸Ω[

ˆ

φ[Ω¸ in the quantized version of the theory)

is a constant ﬁeld which minimizes the potential. In case 1, it corresponds to a

vanishing ﬁeld φ

0

= 0. The discrete Z

2

symmetry φ →−φ of the Lagrangian

is also a symmetry of the ground state. In case 2, with sign − in the potential,

the constant ground state ﬁeld is given by

φ

0

= ±

µ

√

λ

= ±v. (96)

20

While the Lagrangian still possesses the φ → −φ symmetry, in any of the

two degenerate ground states, this Z

2

symmetry is broken. This situation

occurs in the low temperature phase of second order phase transitions, when

an ordered ground state emerges (for example a ferromagnetic ground state),

which does not respect the full symmetry of the Hamiltonian (e.g. the “up-

down” symmetry in a Ising model, or rotational symmetry (this is a continuous

symmetry in this case) in the case of an Heisenberg model). It is instructive

to study the ﬁeld ﬂuctuations around the ground state. For this purpose, we

let

φ = v + h, h ≪v, (97)

(v is chosen positive without loss of generality) and we remind that V

′

(φ) =

λφ

3

−µ

2

φ, V

′′

(φ) = 3λφ

2

−µ

2

, V

′′′

(φ) = 6λφ, and V

′′′′

(φ) = 6λ. The potential

is now

V (φ) = V (v) + hV

′

(v) +

1

2

h

2

V

′′

(v) +

1

6

h

3

V

′′′

(v) +

1

24

h

4

V

′′′′

(v)

= −

1

4

µ

4

λ

+ 0 +

1

2

2µ

2

h

2

+ 2

√

λµh

3

+

1

4

λh

4

. (98)

We note that the new ﬁeld v acquired a mass

√

2µ (the coeﬃcient of the

quadratic term in h is now positive).

Continuous symmetries

Spontaneous breaking of a global continuous symmetry can be encountered

in the SO(2) model (rotations in the plane). We consider now a theory with

two real scalar ﬁelds φ

1

(x) and φ

2

(x), and with the potential

V (φ

1

, φ

2

) =

1

4

λ(φ

2

1

+ φ

2

2

−v

2

)

2

=

1

4

λ([φ[

2

−v

2

)

2

. (99)

The ﬁelds φ

1

and φ

2

are massless (the coeﬃcients of the quadratic terms are

negative) and the theory is invariant under rotations in the plane,

_

φ

′

1

φ

′

2

_

=

_

cos θ sin θ

−sin θ cos θ

__

φ

1

φ

2

_

. (100)

The minima of the potential lie on the circle

[φ

0

[

2

= φ

2

10

+ φ

2

20

= v

2

. (101)

21

Figure 1 – The “Mexican hat potential” (from E.A. Paschos, Electroweak

theory, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge 2007.

As a result of the continuous symmetry, they are inﬁnitely degenerate. In order

to analyze the ﬁeld ﬂuctuations around the minimum, we choose a particular

vacuum state φ

10

= v, φ

20

= 0 and denote the ﬂuctuations by

φ

1

= v + h

1

, φ

2

= h

2

(102)

in terms of which the potential becomes

V (h

1

, h

2

) =

1

4

λ(h

2

1

+ h

2

2

+ 2vh

1

)

2

. (103)

Expansion of this potential shows that h

1

becomes massive while h

2

remains

massless, and the appearance of cubic terms breaks the original SO(2) sym-

metry. The massless ﬁeld is called a Goldstone mode (or Nambu-Goldstone

mode). It is easy to understand why h

2

remains massless while h

1

acquired

a mass : close to the minimum which we have selected, φ

1

ﬂuctuations have

to survive to the potential growth, these are amplitude ﬂuctuations in a po-

lar representation of the model, while φ

2

ﬂuctuations correspond to phase

ﬂuctuations which do not cost any energy.

Spontaneous breaking of local symmetries

A new phenomenon occurs with local gauge theories, where the selection

of a particular minimum and the ﬂuctuations around this minimum lead to

massive gauge ﬁelds which would otherwise be forbidden, since mass terms for

the gauge ﬁeld would break gauge invariance. At the same time, the Goldstone

mode disappears.

We consider the Lagrangian density of U(1) gauge theory,

L = −

1

4

F

µν

F

µν

+ (T

µ

φ)

∗

(T

µ

φ) −V (φ

∗

φ), (104)

22

with the potential

V (φ

∗

φ) = −µ

2

φ

∗

φ + λ(φ

∗

φ)

2

. (105)

As we have seen before, the theory is invariant under the gauge transformation

corresponding to a local rotation of the scalar ﬁeld in the complex plane

φ(x) → e

iqα(x)

φ(x) (106)

A

µ

(x) → A

µ

(x) −∂

µ

α(x). (107)

Let us deﬁne two real ﬁelds θ(x) and h(x), associated to the phase and

the amplitude ﬂuctuations around a particular (chosen real) minimum v =

(µ

2

/2λ)

1/2

,

φ(x) = e

iθ(x)/v

1

√

2

(v + h(x)). (108)

The local gauge transformation deﬁned by qα(x) = −θ(x)/v eliminates θ(x),

since

φ

′

(x) = e

−iθ(x)/v

φ(x) =

1

√

2

(v + h(x)), (109)

A

′

µ

(x) = A

µ

(x) +

1

qv

∂

µ

θ(x). (110)

The net eﬀect in the Lagrangian density is the following,

L = −

1

4

F

′

µν

F

′

µν

+(T

′

µ

φ

′

)

∗

(T

′

µ

φ

′

) +

1

2

µ

2

(v +h

2

(x))

2

−

1

4

λ(v +h(x))

4

, (111)

with T

′

µ

= ∂

µ

+ iqA

′

µ

. The kinetic energy term generates the mass for the

gauge ﬁeld A

′

µ

:

(T

′

µ

φ

′

)

∗

(T

′

µ

φ

′

) =

1

2

∂

µ

h∂

µ

h +

1

2

q

2

A

′

µ

A

′

µ

(v

2

+ 2hv + h

2

), (112)

and, as we announced, the Goldstone mode θ(x) was absorbed in the re-

deﬁnition of the gauge ﬁeld.

This mechanism is known in condensed matter physics as the Anderson

mechanism (see next section), and it occurs in superconductivity, where the

non-zero mass (which also deﬁnes a characteristic length scale) of the gauge

ﬁeld is responsible for the Meissner eﬀect (the fact that the magnetic ﬁeld is

expelled from the bulk of the material). In particle physics, this mechanism

enables to give a mass to the gauge bosons, as we discuss below. This is known

in this context as the Higgs mechanism.

23

The Anderson mechanism

29

We will ﬁrst reproduce all the generic arguments given before in the rela-

tivistic U(1) case before considering the application to superconductivity.

Gauge invariance in non relativistic quantum mechanics

Since we are interested in this section by non relativistic quantum mecha-

nics, we will not distinguish between contravariant and covariant indices, i.e.

x

i

= x, y, z and ∂

i

=

∂

∂x

i

. Summation is understood as soon as an index is

repeated in an expression. The space part of an expression like ∂

µ

ψ

∗

∂

µ

ψ will

thus simply be denoted as ∂

i

ψ

∗

∂

i

ψ = −∂

i

ψ

∗

∂

i

ψ, and ∂

2

i

ψ = ∂

i

∂

i

ψ stands for

∇

2

ψ. Due to this non-covariant notation, there are other minus signs here and

there, for instance in the deﬁnition of the ﬁeld tensor F

ij

= −(∂

i

A

j

−∂

j

A

i

).

The Lagrangian density for non relativistic quantum mechanics is given by

an expression due to Jordan and Wigner (here written in a symmetric form)

L

0

=

1

2

i(ψ

∗

˙

ψ −

˙

ψ

∗

ψ) −

2

2m

∂

i

ψ

∗

∂

i

ψ −V ψ

∗

ψ. (113)

The Euler-Lagrange equation (variation with respect to ψ

∗

) indeed leads the

Schr¨ odinger equation,

∂L

0

∂ψ

∗

=

1

2

i

˙

ψ −V ψ, (114)

∂

t

_

∂L

0

∂

˙

ψ

∗

_

= −

1

2

i

˙

ψ, (115)

∂

i

_

∂L

0

∂(∂

i

ψ

∗

)

_

= −

2

2m

∂

2

i

ψ. (116)

and we have

i

˙

ψ = −

2

2m

∂

2

i

ψ + V ψ. (117)

Once we have noticed that the Lagrangian density is a function of ψ,

˙

ψ, and

∂

i

ψ (as well as their complex conjugates), its variation under an inﬁnitesimal

29. Caution : in all this section we forget about the covariant notation, all indices are

space indices written as subscripts and summed over when repeated. See the beginning of

the next paragraph for more detailed explanations.

24

global gauge transformation δψ =

i

eαψ leads to

δL

0

= −

i

eα

_

ψ

∗

∂

i

_

∂L

0

∂(∂

i

ψ

∗

)

_

+ ψ

∗

∂

t

_

∂L

0

∂(∂

i

ψ

∗

)

_

+ ∂

i

ψ

∗

∂L

0

∂(∂

i

ψ

∗

)

+

˙

ψ

∗

∂L

0

∂

˙

ψ

∗

+ (ψ

∗

←→ψ)

_

= −α[∂

i

j

i

+ ∂

t

ρ], (118)

(use has been made of the equations of motion) where

j

i

=

e

2mi

(ψ

∗

(∂

i

ψ) −(∂

i

ψ

∗

)ψ) , (119)

ρ = eψ

∗

ψ. (120)

Notice that this continuity equation is usually written in the standard form

∇

j +

∂ρ

∂t

= 0. (121)

In the presence of an electromagnetic ﬁeld (relativistic in essence), we use

the minimal coupling

T

i

= ∂

i

−

i

eA

i

(122)

and we add the ﬁeld Lagrangian contribution (for further purpose, we will

only consider the magnetic contribution and only in a static situation, i.e.

−

1

4

F

ij

F

ij

) (F

ij

= −(∂

i

A

j

−∂

j

A

i

)),

L =

1

2

i(ψ

∗

˙

ψ −

˙

ψ

∗

ψ) −

2

2m

(T

i

ψ)

∗

(T

i

ψ) −V ψ

∗

ψ −

1

4

F

ij

F

ij

. (123)

The gauge ﬁeld A

i

is changed by a local gauge transformation,

ψ

′

(x) = ψ(x)e

i

eα(x)

, (124)

A

′

i

(x) = A

i

(x) −∂

i

α(x), (125)

but the ﬁeld tensor F

ij

is unaﬀected. The equations of motion in the presence

of the gauge ﬁeld are modiﬁed

30

,

∂L

∂A

j

=

e

2mi

[ψ

∗

(∂

j

ψ) −(∂

j

ψ

∗

)ψ] −

e

2

m

A

j

ψ

∗

ψ, (126)

∂

i

_

∂L

∂(∂

i

A

j

)

_

= −

1

4

∂

∂(∂

i

A

j

)

(F

kl

F

kl

)

= ∂

i

F

ij

, (127)

30. Note here a modiﬁcation in the usual signs.

25

leading to Maxwell equations

∂

i

F

ij

= J

j

, (128)

where the current density is also recovered from the expression

J

i

=

e

2mi

(ψ

∗

(T

i

ψ) −(T

i

ψ)

∗

ψ)

=

e

2mi

(ψ

∗

(∂

i

ψ) −(∂

i

ψ

∗

)ψ) −

e

2

m

A

i

ψ

∗

ψ. (129)

The Schr¨ odinger equation follows from the variation w.r.t. ψ

∗

,

∂L

∂ψ

∗

=

1

2

i

˙

ψ −V ψ −

2

2m

_

i

eA

i

∂

i

ψ +

e

2

2

A

i

A

i

ψ

_

, (130)

∂

t

_

∂L

0

∂

˙

ψ

∗

_

= −

1

2

i

˙

ψ, (131)

∂

i

_

∂L

0

∂(∂

i

ψ

∗

)

_

= −

2

2m

_

∂

2

i

ψ −

i

eA

i

ψ

_

. (132)

Collecting the diﬀerent terms, we get

i

˙

ψ = V ψ +

1

2m

[−i∂

i

−eA

i

]

2

ψ (133)

provided that the Coulomb gauge ∂

i

A

i

= 0 is chosen.

Gauge symmetry breaking

We will now suppose that the gauge symmetry is spontaneously broken,

i.e. the uniform ground state wave function which minimizes the potential

energy is allowed to amplitude and phase ﬂuctuation (for convenience, the

phase ﬂuctuations are removed by a local gauge transformation) and the am-

plitude ﬂuctuations couple to the gauge ﬁeld in such a way that the gauge

ﬁeld becomes massive. The initial Lagrangian density

L =

1

2

i(ψ

∗

˙

ψ −

˙

ψ

∗

ψ) −

2

2m

(T

i

ψ)

∗

(T

i

ψ) −V (ψ

∗

ψ) −

1

4

F

ij

F

ij

(134)

is gauge invariant. The potential energy has a minimum [ψ

0

[ (e.g. in the fol-

lowing calculations V (ψ

∗

ψ) = −µ

2

ψ

∗

ψ + λ(ψ

∗

ψ)

2

has a minimum at [ψ

0

[ =

_

µ

2

/2λ) which can be chosen real positive ψ

0

. We now allow for local ampli-

tude and phase ﬂuctuations around this minimum,

ψ(x) = (ψ

0

+ h(x))e

iθ(x)

, (135)

26

with h(x) and θ(x) two real functions (and h(x) small w.r.t. ψ

0

).

A convenient gauge transformation

ψ

′

(x) = ψ(x)e

i

eα(x)

,

e

α(x) = θ(x) (136)

makes the analysis simpler, since it eliminates the phase ﬂuctuations,

ψ

′

(x) = ψ

0

+ h(x) (137)

and also changes the gauge ﬁeld

A

′

i

(x) = A

i

(x) −

e

∂

i

θ(x). (138)

The Lagrangian density is left unchanged by the gauge transformation, but

written in terms of the gauged variables it reads

L =

1

2

i(ψ

′

∗

˙

ψ

′

−

˙

ψ

′

∗

ψ

′

) −

2

2m

(T

′

i

ψ

′

)

∗

(T

′

i

ψ

′

) −V (ψ

′

∗

ψ

′

) −

1

4

F

′

ij

F

′

ij

. (139)

The ﬁrst term is identically zero, the second term once expanded leads to

−

2

2m

_

∂

i

h∂

i

h +

e

2

2

A

′

i

A

′

i

(ψ

0

+ h)

2

_

, (140)

the third term to

−µ

2

(ψ

0

+ h)

2

+ λ(ψ

0

+ h)

4

(141)

(or any other form depending on the potential), and the last gauge invariant

term

−

1

4

F

′

ij

F

′

ij

(142)

has the usual form for the ﬁeld kinetic energy, but here given in terms of

the gauged vector potential. The essential novelty stands in the second term

where an extra dependence of the gauge ﬁeld occurs, ∼ ψ

0

A

2

i

, coupled to the

ground state expectation value. This is a mass term which is also denoted as

1

2

m

2

A

=

e

2

2

ψ

2

0

. (143)

27

Variation of L w.r.t. h(x) leads to the equation of motion known as the

Ginzburg-Landau equation in the context of superconductivity,

∂L

∂h(x)

= ∂

i

∂L

∂(∂

i

h(x))

, (144)

e

2

m

A

′

i

2

(x)(ψ

0

+ h(x)) + 2µ

2

(ψ

0

+ h(x)) −4λ(ψ

0

+ h(x))

2

=

2

m

∂

2

i

h(x). (145)

This equation contains information about the Cooper pair wave function

ψ

0

+h(x) and it involves a characteristic length scale known as the coherence

length,

ξ

−2

=

2mµ

2

2

. (146)

The coherence length ξ is for example a measure of the length scale needed

to attain the condensate wave function in the bulk of a superconductor from

a free surface.

Variation of L w.r.t. the gauge ﬁeld leads to

∂L

∂A

′

j

(x)

= ∂

i

∂L

∂(∂

i

A

′

j

(x))

, (147)

−

e

2

m

A

′

i

(x)(ψ

0

+ h(x))

2

= ∂

i

F

′

ij

. (148)

The l.h.s. corresponds to the London current density J

j

(proportional to the

gauge ﬁeld instead of the usual Ohm law J

j

= σE

j

in a normal metal). This

equation also involves a typical length scale κ inversely proportional to the

Cooper pair wave function,

κ

−2

=

e

2

m

ψ

2

0

. (149)

This parameter gives an information about the length scale needed to expel

the gauge ﬁeld from the bulk of a superconductor, a phenomenon known

as the Meissner eﬀect. It is completely governed by the gauge ﬁeld mass,

κ

−2

=

2

2m

m

2

A

.

The phenomenology of type I and type II superconductors is essentially

described in terms of the two length scales ξ and κ. If κ ≪ ξ, the magnetic

ﬁeld does not penetrate at all in the bulk of a superconductor (type I), while

in the other limit, there exist regions of normal phase with non zero magnetic

ﬁeld (Abrikosov vortices) inside superconducting regions (mixed phase of type

II superconductors).

28

SU(2)

W

U(1)

Y

The electroweak symmetry breaking scenario

31

discovered by Salam and

Weinberg describes the emergence of the present structure of electromagne-

tic and weak interactions as the broken gauge symmetry phase of a symme-

tric (unbroken) phase SU(2)

W

U(1)

Y

which existed in earlier times (higher

energy scales) of the Universe. With the spontaneous symmetry breaking sce-

nario, some of the bosonic degrees of freedom (the gauge ﬁelds) acquire mass.

In the symmetric phase, the relevant (non massive) fermionic particles (the

electron and the neutrino) consist in a right-handed

32

electron R = e

R

in an

(weak) isospin singlet I

W

= 0 and an isospin doublet I

W

=

1

2

made of the left-

hande electron and the unique (left-handed) neutrino L =

_

ν

e

e

L

_

. The bosons

are all non massive. The charges carried by the leptons follow from their weak

isospin component I

3

W

and their hypercharge Y ,

Q = I

3

W

+

Y

2

. (150)

The hypercharge of the doublet is thus Y

L

= −1 and that of the singlet is

Y

R

= −2. Under the non-Abelian weak isospin gauge transformation SU(2)

W

,

the ﬁelds change according to

R −→

SU(2)

W

R, (151)

L −→

SU(2)

W

exp

_

1

2

igσα

_

L, (152)

and under the Abelian U(1)

Y

symmetry, they become

R −→

U(1)

Y

exp(−ig

′

β)R, (153)

L −→

U(1)

Y

exp(−ig

′

β/2)L. (154)

Note that the isospin coupling is g while the hypercharge coupling is conven-

tionally called g

′

/2.

31. See Ryder pp307-312

32. In the Dirac Lagrangian i

¯

ψγ

µ

∂

µ

ψ − m

¯

ψψ, the right-handed and left-handed spinors

are deﬁned as R =

1

2

(1 + γ

5

)ψ and L =

1

2

(1 − γ

5

)ψ. Since γ

5

and γ

µ

commute, it follows

that i

¯

ψγ

µ

∂

µ

ψ = i

¯

Lγ

µ

∂

µ

L + i

¯

Rγ

µ

∂

µ

R.

29

SU(2)

W

U(1)

Y

is made a local gauge symmetry through the introduction

of gauge ﬁelds W

µ

and X

µ

with the covariant derivative

T

µ

L = ∂

µ

L +

1

2

igσW

µ

L −

1

2

ig

′

X

µ

L, (155)

T

µ

R = ∂

µ

R −ig

′

X

µ

R, (156)

where W

µ

is a weak triplet gauge (non-massive) boson I

W

= 1 with hyper-

charge zero and X

µ

is also a non-massive boson which has zero hypercharge,

but is in an isospin singlet I

W

= 0.

If we forget about the pure gauge ﬁeld contributions, the kinetic part of

the Lagrangian

33

in the minimal coupling is given by Dirac Lagrangian (the

leptonic particles are fermions with spin

1

2

) i.e.

L = i

¯

Rγ

µ

(∂

µ

−ig

′

X

µ

) R + i

¯

Lγ

µ

_

∂

µ

+

1

2

igσW

µ

−

1

2

ig

′

X

µ

_

L (157)

The weakness of the gauge invariant formulation is obviously that it contains

4 massless gauge ﬁelds, while Nature (at the present energy scales) has only

one, and that the fermions are similarly all non massive (if the electron would

have a non zero mass in this theory, the corresponding neutrino would share

the same mass, since it appears as the second component of an isospin dou-

blet). The spontaneous symmetry breaking scenario leads to 3 massive gauge

ﬁelds and at the same time, the electron acquires mass as well (but not the

neutrino !).

The Higgs mechanism

The symmetry is broken by introduction of a complex Higgs ﬁeld

φ =

_

φ

+

φ

0

_

=

1

√

2

_

θ

1

+ iθ

2

θ

3

+ iθ

4

_

. (158)

This is an isospin doublet I

W

=

1

2

with hypercharge unity Y

φ

= 1,

T

µ

φ =

_

∂

µ

+

1

2

igσW

µ

+

1

2

ig

′

X

µ

_

φ, (159)

and a Lagrangian of the form

L

Higgs

= T

µ

φ

†

T

µ

φ −m

2

φ

†

φ −λ(φ

†

φ)

2

+ interaction with leptons. (160)

33. We consider non massive fermions, otherwise a term like m

2¯

LL would assign the same

mass to the electron and the neutrino.

30

The potential V ([φ[) = m

2

φ

†

φ + λ(φ

†

φ)

2

is chosen such that it gives rise

to spontaneous symmetry breaking with [φ[

2

= −m

2

/2λ = v/

√

2. For the

classical ﬁeld, the choice θ

3

= v is made and a local gauge transformation

eliminates the other θ

i

’s. Fluctuations around v are introduced through

φ(x) =

1

√

2

_

0

v + h(x)

_

. (161)

Acting with the covariant derivative gives

T

µ

φ =

1

√

2

_

1

2

ig(W

1

µ

−iW

2

µ

)(v + h(x))

∂

µ

h −

1

2

i(gW

3

µ

−g

′

X

µ

)(v + h(x))

_

(162)

and reported in the Lagrangian density, this leads to (up to cubic terms)

L

Higgs

=

1

2

_

∂

µ

h∂

µ

h −

1

2

m

2

(v + h(x))

2

−

1

4

λ(v + h(x))

4

+

1

4

g

2

v

2

(W

1

µ

W

µ1

+ W

2

µ

W

µ2

) +

1

4

(gW

3

µ

−g

′

X

µ

)(gW

µ3

−g

′

X

µ

)v

2

¸

=

1

2

_

∂

µ

h∂

µ

h −

1

2

m

2

(v + h(x))

2

−

1

4

λ(v + h(x))

4

¸

+M

2

W

W

+

µ

W

−µ

+

1

2

M

2

Z

Z

µ

Z

µ

, (163)

where the charged massive vector bosons are

W

±

µ

= (W

1

µ

∓iW

2

µ

)/

√

2 (164)

with masses M

2

W

=

1

4

g

2

v

2

and the neutral massive boson is such that

34

1

2

M

2

Z

Z

µ

Z

µ

=

1

8

v

2

(gW

3

µ

−g

′

X

µ

)(gW

µ3

−g

′

X

µ

)

=

1

8

v

2

(W

3

µ

∗

, X

∗

µ

)

_

g

2

−gg

′

−gg

′

g

′

2

__

W

3µ

X

µ

_

=

1

2

(Z

µ

∗

, A

∗

µ

)

_

M

2

Z

0

0 0

__

Z

3µ

A

µ

_

. (165)

The last line is obtained by a diagonalization of the mass matrix by an ortho-

gonal transformation

Z

µ

= cos θ

W

W

3

µ

−sin θ

W

X

µ

(166)

A

µ

= sin θ

W

W

3

µ

+ cos θ

W

X

µ

, (167)

34. See Cheng and Li p351

31

and the masses of the neutral ﬁelds are

M

2

Z

=

1

4

v

2

(g

2

+ g

′

2

) (168)

M

2

A

= 0. (169)

The coupling constant of the (charged) leptons and the electromagnetic gauge

ﬁeld gets the value

e = g sin θ

W

. (170)

With the symmetry breaking scenario, the coupling between the Higgs

ﬁelds and the leptons of the theory (Yukawa term which forms a Lorentz

scalar by the coupling between a Dirac spinor with a scalar ﬁeld) in

−G

e

(

¯

Rφ

∗

L +

¯

LφR) (171)

similarly leads to massive electrons

35

m

e

= G

e

v/

√

2. (172)

35. See Quigg p110

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