Communications in Mathematical Physics

, Volume 31, Issue 4, pp 259–264

There are no Goldstone bosons in two dimensions

  • Sidney Coleman

DOI: 10.1007/BF01646487

Cite this article as:
Coleman, S. Commun.Math. Phys. (1973) 31: 259. doi:10.1007/BF01646487


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).

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1973

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sidney Coleman
    • 1
  1. 1.Joseph Henry LaboratoriesPrinceton UniversityPrincetonUSA
  2. 2.Lyman LaboratoryHarvard UniversityCambridge

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