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As has become increasingly clear, symmetries in physics, particularly in the microscopic domain, are intimately related to the dynamics of the systems being studied. Symmetry methods and concepts have become essential tools to study the phenomena observed in the nuclear- and particle-physics realm. Since in these areas of nature the basic forces are not known in detail and observations are very difficult to carry out, building a coherent picture is hard. Fortunately, the discovery of conserved quantities, patterns in the data and selection rules often lead to the identification of (manifest or hidden) symmetries in theories and models. Group theory thus becomes the natural language of the physics of the microworld.
Even when symmetries are not exactly satisfied, symmetry breaking, particularly when the successive splittings leave a subgroup of the symmetry transformations intact (in which case we refer to the symmetry as dynamical symmetry), provides a valuable ordering scheme and...