Summary and Info
The fundamental goal of physics is an understanding of the forces of nature in their simplest and most general terms. Yet there is much more involved than just a basic set of equations which eventually has to be solved when applied to specific problems. We have learned in recent years that the structure of the ground state of field theories (with which we are generally concerned) plays an equally funda- fundamental role as the equations of motion themselves. Heisenberg was probably the first to recognize that the ground state, the vacuum, could acquire certain properties (quantum numbers) when he devised a theory of ferromagnetism. Since then, many more such examples are known in solid state physics, e. g. superconductivity, superfluidity, in fact all problems concerned with phase transitions of many-body systems, which are often summarized under the name synergetics.
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