, Volume 31, Issue 4, pp 259-264

There are no Goldstone bosons in two dimensions

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Abstract

In four dimensions, it is possible for a scalar field to have a vacuum expectation value that would be forbidden if the vacuum were invariant under some continuous transformation group, even though this group is a symmetry group in the sense that the associated local currents are conserved. This is the Goldstone phenomenon, and Goldstone's theorem states that this phenomenon is always accompanied by the appearance of massless scalar bosons. The purpose of this note is to show that in two dimensions the Goldstone phenomenon can not occur; Goldstone's theorem does not end with two alternatives (either manifest symmetry or Goldstone bosons) but with only one (manifest symmetry).

Work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 30819X and Grant No. 30738X.