The Topology of the Electroweak Interaction
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Submission date: 16. Nov. 2004
published in: Journal of mathematical physics, 46 (2005) 4, art-no. 042304
DOI number (of the published article): 10.1063/1.1883312
MSC-Numbers: 53C80, 55R10, 70S05, 70S15, 81V15
PACS-Numbers: 02.40.MA, 11.15.Ex, 12.15.-y
Keywords and phrases: bundle topology, magnetic monopoles, electroweak interaction, charge quantization
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In this paper we show that the Higgs boson of the (minimal) Standard Model has at most three gauge inequivalent ground states. One of these states is related to ordinary electromagnetism and the other two to electromagnetism within magnetically charged vacua. If space-time is assumed to be rotationally symmetric then the charged electroweak vacua may be identified with Dirac monopoles of magnetic charge . This offers a physical interpretation of magnetic monopoles and Dirac's quantization condition of electric charge in terms of the electroweak interaction. Moreover, in the case of the (minimal) Standard Model the three possible gauge inequivalent ground states of the Higgs boson are shown to fully determine the topological structure of the gauge bundle which underlies the electroweak interaction.