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Vacuum manifold

In quantum field theory, the vacuum state may be degenerate. Each pure vacuum state generates its own superselection sector. The space of all pure vacuum states often has a manifold structure and is called the vacuum manifold.

Vacuum manifolds arise during the process of spontaneous symmetry breaking from a group G to a subgroup H and the corresponding vacuum manifold has to be a realization of G and contain the quotient space G/H. In many cases, it would simply be G/H, although it could be larger.

Not all vacuum manifolds arise due to spontaneous symmetry breaking. Supersymmetric models often contain moduli spaces which is another name for the vacuum manifold.

In many cases, the vacuum manifold is parameterized by the values of permissible vacuum expectation values. This is not the case for spontaneous symmetry breaking due to fermion condensation, though.

If the vacuum manifold is homotopically nontrivial, it's possible for there to be topological sectors.

A vacuum manifold (Schlenk line) can also refer to a piece of equipment, inside of which there is often a vacuum when the manifold is being used. Manifolds are often used to manipulate or move gases or vapors around, often in a laboratory. Manifolds often have valves or stopcocks and are often used with a vacuum pump. A use of a manifold may include purging a system of one gas to be replaced by another. Many laboratory manifolds are made of glass and have one or more cold traps. Such laboratory manifolds may be used for high vacuum distillations or condensations. Vacuum manifolds, sometimes simply referred to as vacuum lines, can have various designs depending on what they may be used for. A Schlenk line is a type of vacuum manifold used in a laboratory.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Vacuum_manifold". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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