Introduction and Summary

  • Kang-Sin Choi
  • Jihn E. Kim
Part of the Lecture Notes in Physics book series (LNP, volume 696)


During and since the second half of the twentieth century, enormous progress has been made in understanding our universe in terms of fundamental particles and their interactions, namely in the language of quantum field theory. The advent of the standard model (SM) of particle physics has been the culmination of quantum field theory in all its full glory. The dawn of this successful particle physics era was opened with the unexpected discovery of parity violation in weak interaction phenomena [1]. It had long been known that weak interactions change the electromagnetic charge, i.e. electron (e) to electron type neutrino (νe), neutron (n) to proton (p). But, until the mid-1950s it had never occurred to the leading minds [2] that “parity might be violated”, chiefly because the atomic and nuclear transitions did not reveal any such possibility before that time. For nuclear transitions, both weak and electromagnetic phenomena contribute but at that time there were not sufficient data to fully conclude on the nature of parity operation in weak interactions [1]. For atomic transitions, the fundamental interaction is of electromagnetic origin and the experimental confirmation of parity conservation in atomic phenomena convinced most physicists that parity is conserved in the universe. In hindsight, parity conservation should have been imposed only on electromagnetic interactions, as the discovery of parity violation in weak interactions started a new era for weak interactions. There is still no experimental evidence that strong and electromagnetic interactions violate parity. Therefore, we know that parity violation in weak interactions is at the heart of making our universe as it is now, because the SM assumes from the outset the existence of massless chiral fields.1


Gauge Group Gauge Boson Wilson Line Heterotic String Vacuum Expectation Value 
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Copyright information

© Springer 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kang-Sin Choi
    • 1
  • Jihn E. Kim
    • 1
  1. 1.School of PhysicsSeoul National UniversitySeoulKorea

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