**Sample interview questions:** How do you approach the concept of symmetry breaking in your theoretical models?

**Sample answer:**

In my theoretical models, I approach the concept of symmetry breaking through the following steps:

**1. Identification of Relevant Symmetries:**

- Determine the symmetries present in the underlying Lagrangian or Hamiltonian.
- These symmetries can be global (e.g., translational, rotational) or local (e.g., gauge).

**2. Spontaneous Symmetry Breaking:**

- Introduce scalar fields with a potential that exhibits a symmetry-breaking pattern.
- The potential is designed such that the ground state spontaneously breaks the original symmetry.
- This spontaneous symmetry breaking gives rise to massless Goldstone bosons.

**3. Higgs Mechanism:**

- In gauge theories, introduce the Higgs field which interacts with the gauge bosons.
- The Higgs field acquires a non-zero vacuum expectation value (VEV), breaking the gauge symmetry.
- This breaking gives mass to the gauge bosons while leaving the photon massless.

**4. Order Parameters and Condensates:**

- Define order parameters that characterize the symmetry-broken phase.
- These order parameters can be scalar fields, condensates of particles, or other physical quantities.

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