Invariance of a physical system (its action) under a continuous group of local transformations underlain by a global symmetry whose group parameters fixed in space-time have now been extended to vary in space-time instead. Use for buildup of the invariance, fixing the gauge, and accounting for the ...

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2k views

To which extent is general relativity a gauge theory?

In quantum mechanics, we know that a change of frame -- a gauge transform -- leaves the probability of an outcome measurement invariant (well, the square modulus of the wave-function, i.e. the ...
14
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1answer
1k views

Are there massless bosons at scales above electroweak scale?

Spontaneous electroweak symmetry breaking (i.e. $SU(2)\times U(1)\to U(1)_{em}$ ) is at scale about 100 Gev. So, for Higgs mechanism, gauge bosons $Z$ & $W$ have masses about 100 GeV. But before ...
8
votes
3answers
4k views

Noether theorem, gauge symmetry and conservation of charge

I'm trying to understand Noether's theorem, and it's application to gauge symmetry. Below what I've done so far. First, the global gauge symmetry. I'm starting with the Lagragian $$L_{1}=\partial^{\...
7
votes
3answers
765 views

What is the basis of gauge theory?

I’m learning about gauge concepts. I’ve always had the idea that by looking at a phenomenon from different viewpoints, that symmetries could be derived – in fact, that was what an equal sign signified....
8
votes
3answers
2k views

Why can't gauge bosons have mass?

Clearly, a mass term for a vector field would render the Lagrangian not gauge-invariant, but what are the consequences of this? Gauge invariance is supposed to be crucial for the renormalisation of a ...
5
votes
2answers
855 views

Why is the “canonical momentum” for the Dirac equation not defined in terms of the “gauge covariant derivative”?

The canonical momentum is always used to add an EM field to the Schrödinger/Pauli/Dirac equations. Why does one not use the gauge covariant derivative? As far as I can see, the difference is a factor <...
20
votes
1answer
1k views

Why does charge conservation due to gauge symmetry only hold on-shell?

While deriving Noether's theorem or the generator(and hence conserved current) for a continuous symmetry, we work modulo the assumption that the field equations hold. Considering the case of gauge ...
3
votes
2answers
360 views

Classical EM : clear link between gauge symmetry and charge conservation

In the case of classical field theory, Noether's theorem ensures that for a given action $$S=\int \mathrm{d}^dx\,\mathcal{L}(\phi_\mu,\partial_\nu\phi_\mu,x^i)$$ that stays invariant under the ...
53
votes
9answers
3k views

What, in simplest terms, is gauge invariance?

I am a mathematics student with a hobby interest in physics. This means that I've taken graduate courses in quantum dynamics and general relativity without the bulk of undergraduate physics courses ...
7
votes
1answer
1k views

Why mass terms are forbidden?

I would like to clarify my understanding on why mass terms in Lagrangians of gauge theories are forbidden. It's often repeated that particle masses are forbidden by electroweak symmetry because it is ...
5
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2answers
444 views

Are gauge choices in electrodynamics really always possible?

If $B$ is magnetic field and $E$ electric Field, then $$B=\nabla\times A,$$ $$E= -\nabla V+\frac{\partial A}{\partial t}.$$ There is Gauge invariance for the trnasformation $$A'\rightarrow A+\...
3
votes
2answers
405 views

Two puzzles on the Projective Symmetry Group(PSG)?

Recently I'm studying PSG and I felt very puzzled about two statements appeared in Wen's paper. To present the questions clearly, imagine that we use the Shwinger-fermion $\mathbf{S}_i=\frac{1}{2}f_i^\...
8
votes
2answers
941 views

How does non-Abelian gauge symmetry imply the quantization of the corresponding charges?

I read an unjustified treatment in a book, saying that in QED charge an not quantized by the gauge symmetry principle (which totally clear for me: Q the generator of $U(1)$ can be anything in $\mathbb{...
7
votes
4answers
616 views

Why gauge theories have such a success?

[This question was inspired by a identical question asked on a other forum] Note that we may morally include general relativity in the gauge theories. We may have several (some are deliberately ...
1
vote
1answer
68 views

Lagrangian gauge theory with physically observable local degrees of freedom

In my answer at What, in simplest terms, is gauge invariance?, I mentioned that in certain contexts there can be a "gauge theory" with a local symmetry that leave the Lagrangian/Hamiltonian invariant ...
11
votes
2answers
939 views

Understanding Elitzur's theorem from Polyakov's simple argument?

I was reading through the first chapter of Polyakov's book "Gauge-fields and Strings" and couldn't understand a hand-wavy argument he makes to explain why in systems with discrete gauge-symmetry only ...
16
votes
2answers
1k views

Noether's theorem and gauge symmetry

I'm confused about Noether's theorem applied to gauge symmetry. Say we have $$\mathcal L=-\frac14F_{ab}F^{ab}.$$ Then it's invariant under $A_a\rightarrow A_a+\partial_a\Lambda.$ But can I say that ...
13
votes
3answers
1k views

Why is the Yang-Mills gauge group assumed compact and semi-simple?

What is the motivation for including the compactness and semi-simplicity assumptions on the groups that one gauges to obtain Yang-Mills theories? I'd think that these hypotheses lead to physically "...
16
votes
2answers
499 views

Coulomb gauge fixing and “normalizability”

The Setup Let Greek indices be summed over $0,1,\dots, d$ and Latin indices over $1,2,\dots, d$. Consider a vector potential $A_\mu$ on $\mathbb R^{d,1}$ defined to gauge transform as $$ A_\mu\to ...
9
votes
4answers
718 views

What role does “spontaneously symmetry breaking” played in the “Higgs Mechanism”?

In talking about Higgs mechanism, the first part is always some introduction to the concept of spontaneously symmetry breaking (SSB), some people saying that Higgs mechanism is the results of SSB of ...
6
votes
2answers
445 views

When can we add a total time derivative of $f(q, \dot{q}, t)$ to a Lagrangian?

The other day, I was listening to this lecture on the Lagrangian for a charged particle in an electromagnetic field, and at one point in the video, the lecturer mentions that we can add any total time ...
6
votes
2answers
832 views

Gauge fixing and equations of motion

Consider an action that is gauge invariant. Do we obtain the same information from the following: Find the equations of motion, and then fix the gauge? Fix the gauge in the action, and then find the ...
6
votes
1answer
613 views

Field strength vanishes iff $A_{\mu}$ is pure gauge

Is it true that the field strength $F_{\mu\nu}$ in a non-Abelian gauge theory with gauge group $G$ vanishes if, and only if, the gauge field $A_{\mu}$ is a pure gauge? I can show one implication. ...
3
votes
1answer
78 views

What is the importance of vector potential not being unique?

For a magnetic field we can have different solutions of its vector potential. What is the physical aspect of this fact? I mean, why the nature allows us not to have an unique vector potential of a ...
3
votes
1answer
515 views

What conservation law corresponds to this local $U(1)$ symmetry of the CCR?

It is known that canonical commutation relations do not fix the form of momentum operator. That means that if canonical commutation relations (CCR) are given by $$[\hat{x}^i,\hat{p}_j]~=~i\hbar~\...
3
votes
0answers
139 views

Is the $SU(2)$ flux defined in the context of Projective Symmetry Group(PSG) an observable quantity?

The $SU(2)$ flux defined in the context of PSG is as follows: Consider the mean-field Hamiltonian $H_{MF}=\sum(\psi_i^\dagger\chi_{ij}\psi_j+H.c.)$ description of a 2D lattice spin-model, the ...
2
votes
1answer
836 views

Gauge theory in classical electromagnetism

I understand gauge theory as the theory of continuous transformation group which keeps Lagrangian (or dynamics) invariant. So some integral invariants could be found. In terms of classical ...
1
vote
2answers
121 views

What is the reason for the $ i \tau_2 $ - factor in the higgs coupling with up-type quarks?

The quark mass term in the Standard Model Lagrangian looks like this: $$ L = - \lambda_d \bar{Q}\phi d_R - \lambda_u \bar{Q} i \tau_2 \phi^* u_R $$ What is the reason for the $ i \tau_2 $ - factor?...
24
votes
4answers
1k views

When can a global symmetry be gauged?

Take a classical field theory described by a local Lagrangian depending on a set of fields and their derivatives. Suppose that the action possesses some global symmetry. What conditions have to be ...
7
votes
3answers
1k views

Gauge invariant Chern-Simons Lagrangian

I have to prove the (non abelian) gauge invariance of the following lagrangian (for a certain value of $\lambda$): $$\mathcal L= -\frac14 F^{\mu\nu}_aF_{\mu\nu}^a + \frac{k}{4\pi}\epsilon^{\mu\nu\...
13
votes
2answers
551 views

Why do we seek to preserve gauge symmetries after quantization?

Gauge symmetries do not give rise to conservation laws via Noether's theorem, and they represent redundancies in our description of the system. So why do we want to keep them after quantization? For ...
8
votes
1answer
461 views

Introduction to Gauge Symmetries: Good, Bad or Ugly?

I'm trying to come up with a good (as in intuitive and not 'too wrong') definition of a gauge symmetry. This is what I have right now: A dynamical symmetry is a (differentiable) group of ...
7
votes
1answer
371 views

Why does local gauge invariance suggest renormalizability?

I'm reading Gauge Field Theories: An Introduction with Applications by Mike Guidry and this particular remark is not obvious to me: A tempting avenue is suggested by the QED paradigm, for if a ...
3
votes
1answer
1k views

Large gauge transformations

I would like to understand what is the importance of large gauge transformations. I read that these gauge transformation cannot be deformed to the identity, but why should we care about that?
6
votes
2answers
366 views

Is internal symmetry the same as gauge symmetry?

This is more a terminology question. I have seen that some people differentiate between the two types of symmetry: internal symmetry and gauge symmetry (of a field theory). Is there a difference (in ...
5
votes
2answers
456 views

Electric current $j^{\mu}$ in standard QED vs. scalar QED

The expression for the 4-current $j^{\mu}$ in standard QED is $$ e\bar{\Psi}\gamma^\mu\Psi $$ and $$ \frac{e}{2 i}(\psi^\dagger D^\mu \psi - (D^\mu \psi)^\dagger \psi) $$ in scalar QED. I ...
3
votes
1answer
126 views

Why is the gauge potential $A_{\mu}$ in the Lie algebra of the gauge group $G$?

If we have a general gauge group whose action is $$ \Phi(x) \rightarrow g(x)\Phi(x), $$ with $g\in G$. Then introducing the gauge covariant derivative $$ D_{\mu}\Phi(x) = (\partial_{\mu}+A_{\mu})\...
2
votes
1answer
4k views

Physical difference between Lorenz and Coulomb gauge-fixing conditions

Lorenz and Coulomb gauge-fixing conditions. What is physical difference between these two gauge-fixing conditions? Mathematical expression are clear but how to we choose one of these means what they ...
5
votes
1answer
168 views

Is gauge connection unique?

In QFT, given a gauge group and matter field, is the form of the gauge field unique? In other words, given a principal G-bundle and its associated vector bundle, is the construction of the principle G-...
4
votes
3answers
596 views

Problems with putting mass on Yang-Mills theory by hand

When Yang-Mills field theory was introduced, a problem is that the gauge invariance can not allow mass for the gauge field. Later people invented spontaneous symmetry breaking and Higgs mechanism to ...
4
votes
1answer
944 views

Noether current for the Yang-Mills-Higgs Lagrangian

I am trying to calculate the Noether current, more specifically, the energy density of the Yang-Mills-Higgs Lagrangian. Please refer to the equations in the Harvey lectures on Magnetic Monopoles, ...
7
votes
2answers
1k views

Invariance, covariance and symmetry

Though often heard, often read, often felt being overused, I wonder what are the precise definitions of invariance and covariance. Could you please give me an example from quantum field theory? Thanks!...
5
votes
1answer
751 views

Is reparameterization invariance some kind of gauge symmetry?

On page 116 of this book it is said, that reparameterization invariance of the string action is analogous to the gauge invariance in electrodynamices. Whereas Maxwell's equations are symmetric under ...
4
votes
2answers
334 views

Time dependent Hamiltonian and Gauge invariance

In general, in quantum mechanics we can prove probability current or the Schrodinger equation and other quantities are gauge invariant. However, the Hamiltonian isn't gauge invariant. Under a gauge ...
4
votes
2answers
285 views

Wess-Zumino Gauge in non-Abelian supersymmetric theory

I've got a question concerning non-Abelian supersymmetric gauge theories. Consider supersymmetric non-Abelian theory realized on chiral superfields $\Phi_i$ in a representation $R$ with matrix ...
2
votes
2answers
396 views

Charged quantum particle in a magnetic field - choosing a different gauge leads to different wavefunctions

Consider a charged quantum particle confined to the $xy$ plane, subject to a magnetic field $\mathbf{B}=B\hat{z}$. The Hamiltonian is: $$ H = \frac{1}{2m} \left( \mathbf{p} - \frac{e \mathbf{A}}{c}\...
11
votes
2answers
351 views

Why can't a real scalar couple to the electromagnetic field?

If we have a complex scalar $\phi$ we know that the gauge-invariant interaction with $A$ is given by $A^\mu J_\mu$, where $J$ is the Noether current of the $U(1)$ symmetry of the Lagrangian $$ J_\mu\...
8
votes
1answer
3k views

How do I derive the Lorenz gauge from the continuity equation?

I was reading my old electromagnetics book (Elements of Electromagnetics, by Sadiku, 3rd edition) and after the author explained what the Lorenz gauge is mathematically and why it is useful in ...
5
votes
1answer
574 views

6 independent Einstein field equations?

I can't understand the comment on page 409, Gravitation, by Misner, Thorne, Wheeler It follows that the ten components $G_{\alpha\beta} =8\pi T_{\alpha\beta}$ of the field equation must not ...
4
votes
1answer
168 views

Only transverse photons are gauge-invariant (Peskin page 298)

Seven lines down from the top of page 298 of P & S, it says "Single particle states containing one electron, one positron, or one transversely polarized photon are gauge-invariant, while states ...