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12
votes
1answer
794 views

What is a general definition of the spin of a particle?

In quantum field theory, one defines a particle as a unitary irreducible representations of the Poincaré group. The study of these representations allows to define the mass and the spin of the ...
3
votes
1answer
956 views

General procedure for Clebsch-Gordan expansions

I'm wondering if the Clebsch-Gordan series generalize to any orthonormal set of basis functions? If so, how would one go about deriving an expression for an arbitrary set of basis functions (perhaps ...
3
votes
3answers
776 views

Building the meson octet and singlet

I am very lost in this topic. I understand that there are $3\times 3$ possible combinations of a quark and an anti-quark, but why should one decide arbitrarily (that's how it appears to me) that one ...
1
vote
1answer
423 views

Decomposition of SU(N) adjoint representation under SU(2)

I am having trouble in demonstrating that under SU(2) transformations the adjoint representation of SU(N) transforms as one spin 1, 2(N-2) spin $\frac12$ and singlets. I am trying to demonstrate it ...
8
votes
1answer
548 views

Identification of the state of particle types with representations of Poincare group

In the second chapter of the first volume of his books on QFT, Weinberg writes in the last paragraph of page 63: In general, it may be possible by using suitable linear combinations of the ...
2
votes
2answers
991 views

Irreducible representation in physics

I am confused about something. Group theory books written for physicists say that any reducible representation can be decomposed in terms of irreducible representations (so correct me if I am wrong, ...
2
votes
1answer
98 views

Charge of a field under the action of a group

What does it mean for a field (say, $\phi$) to have a charge (say, $Q$) under the action of a group (say, $U(1)$)?
5
votes
3answers
400 views

The Asymmetry between Real and Imaginary in the three Pauli Spin Matrices

The Pauli spin matrices $$ \sigma_1 ~=~ (\begin{smallmatrix} 0 & 1 \\ 1 & 0 \end{smallmatrix}), \qquad\qquad \sigma_2 ~=~ (\begin{smallmatrix} 0 & -i \\ i & 0 ...
3
votes
1answer
57 views

A nice overview (and maybe derivation) of the Poincaré transformations of the Vector Spherical Harmonics

With $Y_{lm}(\vartheta,\varphi)$ being the Spherical Harmonics and $z_l^{(j)}(r)$ being the Spherical Bessel functions ($j=1$), Neumann functions ($j=2$) or Hankel functions ($j=3,4$) defining ...
10
votes
0answers
433 views

Wick rotation and spinors

I am quite familiar with use of Wick rotations in QFT, but one thing annoys me: let's say we perform it for treating more conveniently (ie. making converge) a functional integral containing spinors; ...
7
votes
2answers
649 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
158 views

What is the definition of precession (in the context of Spinors)?

What is the definition of "precession"? How is it applicable to abstract objects such as Spinors? I understand the mathematics, but don't understand what one means by "precession angle" etc when it ...
6
votes
0answers
246 views

Coupling Coefficients in SO(4)

I have two equations (from two distinct authors) for the decomposition of a coupling coefficient of SO(4) (i.e. Wigner 3j-symbol for SO(4)). In the first: ...
1
vote
1answer
106 views

What is an isoscalar factor?

I need to find a definition for "the isoscalar factors of 3j-symbols for the restriction $SO(n)\supset SO(n-1)$...denoted by brackets with a composite subscript $(n: n-1)$..." They are given as: $$ ...
10
votes
2answers
493 views

Groups acting on physics - a clarification on electrons and spin

My first question is fairly basic, but I would like to clarify my understanding. The second question is to turn this into something worth answering. Consider a relativistic electron, described by a ...
5
votes
2answers
254 views

Are there irreducible tensors of half integral degree in quantum mechanics?

According to Ballentine, an irreducible tensor of degree k can be defined as a set of $2k + 1$ operators $\{T_q^{\;\;(k)}:(-k \le q \le k)\}$ satisfying the following commutation relations: $$ ...
2
votes
3answers
495 views

Spin decomposition in general

I can turn-the-crank and show that $\frac{1}{2}\otimes \frac{1}{2} = 1\oplus 0$ etc, but what would be a strategy to proving the general statement for spin representations that $j\otimes s ...
13
votes
2answers
105 views

Uniqueness of supersymmetric heterotic string theory

Usually we say there are two types of heterotic strings, namely $E_8\times E_8$ and $Spin(32)/\mathbb{Z}_2$. (Let's forget about non-supersymmetric heterotic strings for now.) The standard argument ...
7
votes
2answers
897 views

Why is the string theory graviton spin-2?

In string theory, the first excited level of the bosonic string can be decomposed into irreducible representations of the transverse rotation group, $SO(D-2)$. We then claim that the symmetric ...
5
votes
1answer
460 views

Simultaneously commuting set

How does one determine the members of an simultaneously commuting set (of operators)? For example, I have read that for orbital angular momentum, the set is {$H,L^2,L_z$}. How does one know that these ...
7
votes
1answer
919 views

Representation of the Galileo Group and Central Charges

I've arrived at this question because I've been reading Weinberg's Quantum Theory of Fields Volume I, and I'm in the second chapter about relativistic quantum mechanics. Weinberg discusses the ...
2
votes
0answers
263 views

composition of space expansion and movement as a gauge invariance

suppose i have a space-time where we have one point-like object* which we will call movement space probe or $\mathbf{M}_{A}$ for short, and it will be moving with constant velocity $V^A_{\mu}$ in ...
2
votes
1answer
524 views

SU(N) symmetry and its representations

If a Lagrangian containing an N-multiplet of fields is invariant under global $\mathbf{SU}(N)$ transformations, does that necessarily imply it is invariant under $\mathbf{SU}(N-1)$, ...
6
votes
1answer
519 views

Modes of a QFT and irreducible representation of the gauge group

This is in reference to the calculation in section 3.3 starting page 20 of this paper. I came across an argument which seems to say that the "constraint of Gauss's law" enforces gauge theory on ...
5
votes
1answer
390 views

Could I see the quantum states as representations of the Galilei algebra (or Galilei group)?

In somes references of Relativistic Quantum Mechanics, the one-particle states are given by representation theory of Poincaré algebra. Could I mimics this for the non-relativistic case? States in ...
13
votes
2answers
709 views

Is the G2 Lie algebra useful for anything?

Seems like all the simpler Lie algebras have a use in one or another branch of theoretical physics. Even the exceptional E8 comes up in string theory. But G2? I've always wondered about that one. ...