Spontaneous Symmetry Breaking, a Memorial Conference for Robert Brout

Spontaneous Symmetry Breaking, a Memorial Conference for Robert Brout

The Institute of Advanced Studies (IAS) at Nanyang Technological University (NTU), Singapore would like to invite you to attend the Spontaneous Symmetry Breaking, a Memorial Conference for Robert Brout from 16 to 19 January 2018 at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.

The world around is very complex with an enormous variety in phenomena. How can we ever dream of finding fundamental laws that describe these phenomena and still be comprehensible?

One important ingredient for this is the concept of spontaneous symmetry breaking, whereby the ground-state of the physical system does not show regularities but the underlying fundamental equations do. Understanding the symmetries of the systems often defines the possible fundamental laws which can then be formulated. The solutions where the symmetry is then spontaneously broken can then show great varieties. This concept occurs in many of the fundamental fields of physics. In particle physics it is the mechanism by which the fundamental particles gain their masses. In cosmology and in statistical physics, it triggers the phase transitions which explains why our universe is so homogeneous and how matter can change phases. In condensed matter it explains for example phenomena like magnetism.

This meeting is a tribute to Robert Brout who would have been 90 this year and who gave significant contributions in all these fields. Unfortunately he passed away just a few years before the Nobel Prize was awarded to his long-time collaborator François Englert with whom he shared so many of these results.