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20
votes
7answers
1k views

Tensor Operators

Motivation. I was recently reviewing the section 3.10 in Sakurai's quantum mechanics in which he discusses tensor operators, and I was left desiring a more mathematically general/precise discussion. ...
4
votes
1answer
375 views

Lorentz group and classification of fields by their transformation under Lorentz transformations

Let's have Lorentz group with generators of 3-rotations, $\hat {R}_{i}$, and Lorentz boosts, $\hat {L}_{i}$. By introducing operators $\hat {J}_{i} = \frac{1}{2}\left(\hat {R}_{i} + i\hat ...
2
votes
2answers
149 views

Lorentz homogeneous group and observables

For generators of the Lorentz group we have the following algebra: $$ [\hat {R}_{i}, \hat {R}_{j} ] = -\varepsilon_{ijk}\hat {R}_{k}, \quad [\hat {R}_{i}, \hat {L}_{j} ] = -\varepsilon_{ijk}\hat ...
4
votes
1answer
581 views

Irreducible decomposition of higher order tensors

I am familiar with the notion of irreps. My question refers simply to tensor representations (not tensor products of representations) and how can we decompose them into irreducible parts? For example, ...
4
votes
1answer
133 views

Original paper on Lorentz representation theory

Which was the original paper on the representations of the Lorentz group? Is there even one paper on this, or was this knowledge gained iteratively in a series of papers?
6
votes
1answer
156 views

Decomposition of Representation Multiplication

How can the multiplication of spinor representations (of $SO(8)$) $8_+ \otimes 8_-$ be decomposed into $8_v \oplus 56_v$? Where can I read more about the decomposition rule of different ...
14
votes
2answers
753 views

Fundamental Representation of $SU(3)$ is a complex representation

Let in a $D(R)$ dimensional representation of $SU(N)$ the generators, $T^a$s follow the following commutation rule: $\qquad \qquad \qquad [T^a_R, T^b_R]=if^{abc}T^c_R$. Now ...
5
votes
2answers
391 views

Why do single particle states furnish a rep. of the inhomogeneous Lorentz group?

Following up on this question: Weinberg says In general, it may be possible by using suitable linear combinations of the $\psi_{p,\sigma}$ to choose the $\sigma$ labels in such a way that ...
1
vote
1answer
235 views

Physical Interpretation of Lorentz-transformed Single Particle states being linear

As in this question, let $\psi_{p,\sigma}$ be a single-particle 4-momentum eigenstate, with $\sigma$ being a discrete label of other degrees of freedom. Weinberg discusses the effect of a homogenous ...
2
votes
1answer
67 views

Why are non-momentum DoFs of single-particle states discretely labeled?

Following the treatment of Weinberg, chapter 2, we consider $\psi_{p,\sigma}$ as single-particle eigenstates of the 4-momentum. Weinberg says that $\sigma$ labels all other degrees of freedom and we ...
2
votes
1answer
488 views

Eigenvectors of a 4D rotation, and their interpretation

Let us define a 4D rotation by using two unit quaternions: $$\mathring{q}_l=\frac{a+ib+jc+kd}{\left|a+ib+jc+kd\right|}$$ and $$\mathring{q}_r=\frac{e+ib+jc+kd}{\left|e+ib+jc+kd\right|}.$$ They differ ...
8
votes
0answers
518 views

Why do we identify symmetric 2nd rank tensors with spin-2 particles in string theory?

I am going through Tong's lecture notes on String Theory and came across the following irrep decomposition (Chap 2, p.43) of the bosonic string first excited states: $$\text{traceless symmetric} ...
4
votes
2answers
583 views

How to directly calculate the infinitesimal generator of SU(2)

We commonly investigate the properties of SU(2) on the basis of SO(3). However, I want to directly calculte the infinitesimal generator of SU(2) according to the definition $$X_{i}=\frac{\partial ...
6
votes
2answers
1k views

Do generators belong to the Lie group or the Lie algebra?

In Physics papers, would it be correct to say that when there is mention of generators, they really mean the generators of the Lie algebra rather than generators of the Lie group? For example I've ...
12
votes
2answers
267 views

When are there enough Casimirs?

I know that a Casimir for a Lie algebra $\mathfrak{g}$ is a central element of the universal enveloping algebra. For example in $\mathfrak{so}(3)$ the generators are the angular momentum operators ...
8
votes
2answers
1k views

Irreducible Representations Of Lorentz Group

In Weinberg's The Theory of Quantum Fields Volume 1, he considers classification one-particle states under inhomogeneous Lorentz group. My question only considers pages 62-64. He define states as ...
12
votes
4answers
3k views

Trace and adjoint representation of $SU(N)$

In the adjoint representation of $SU(N)$, the generators $t^a_G$ are chosen as $$ (t^a_G)_{bc}=-if^{abc} $$ The following identity can be found in Taizo Muta's book "Foundations of Quantum ...
3
votes
1answer
163 views

Supersymmetry and non-compact $R$-symmetry group?

The $R$-symmetry for $N$ supercharges is $U(N)$. Is it possible to generalize $R$-symmetry [let's take $U(4)$) to be something like $U(2,2)$ (maybe analogous to Wick rotation of $SO(3,1)$ to ...
5
votes
1answer
407 views

Vector and Spinor Representation in Ramond-Neveu-Schwarz Superstring Theory

I am learning Ramnond-Neveu-Schwarz Superstring theory (RNS theory). I often find the following notation, especially in the closed string spectrum etc.: $$\mathbf{8}_s,\mathbf{8}_v $$ And it is ...
0
votes
1answer
366 views

Angular Momentum Addition Theorem

If I have, for example a particle with $s = 3/2$ and $\ell = 2$, what are the allowed values of $j$? I'm slightly confused because I know that $j = \ell + s$, so surely there is only one allowed ...
3
votes
2answers
1k views

Quantization of orbital angular momentum

Probably a very simple question, but I can't find the answer on the Internet. I know nearly to nothing about quantum mechanics, but in statistical physics I'm confronted with the idea that the orbital ...
1
vote
0answers
111 views

References for Understanding Minahan's N=4 SCFT review

This is about the same paper as this thread: Some questions about chapter I.1 (by Minahan) of the "Review of AdS/CFT Integrability" but it was never answered. I have some different ...
8
votes
1answer
845 views

Decomposing a Tensor Product of $SU(3)$ Representations in Irreps

Can somebody explain in a simple way why, talking about representations $$3\otimes3\otimes3=1\oplus8\oplus8\oplus10~?$$ Here $3$ and $\bar{3}$ are the fundamental and anti-fundamental of $SU(3)$, in ...
2
votes
3answers
141 views

Please explain this statement about Lorentz transformations

I'm reading Sternberg's Group Theory and Physics. I have a question about chapter 1.2 Homeomorphisms. Background: A Lorentz Metric is defined as $||{\bf x}||^2=x_0^2-x_1^2-x_2^2-x_3^2$ And a ...
1
vote
2answers
151 views

Identity as a trivial reducible representation

In particle physics, I was taught that a representation of a group is a function $r: group \rightarrow matrices\,(n\times n)$ such that $r(g_1)r(g_2)=r(g_1g_2)$ and $r(e)=I_{n\times n}$. Then, that a ...
6
votes
1answer
167 views

Are group representations possible when the solution space is not a vector space?

As far as I understand, the motivation for using representation theory in high energy physics is as follows. Assume that a theory has some (internal or external) symmetry group which acts on a vector ...
1
vote
0answers
3k views

How is multiplicity given by 2S+1?

Suppose there are two electrons in an atom with $s_1 = \frac{1}{2}$, $l_1 = 1$ and $s_2 = \frac{1}{2}$, $l_2 = 1$. Hence the total $S$ (of the atom) may be +1 or 0. And total $L$ is either $+2$, $+1$ ...
7
votes
2answers
436 views

Why does $\mathcal L = -\frac14 F^{\mu\nu} F_{\mu\nu}$ imply Photons are massless?

The Lagrangian $\mathcal L = -\frac14 F^{\mu\nu} F_{\mu\nu}$ with $F_{\mu\nu} = \partial_\mu A_\nu - \partial_\nu A_\mu$ results in the four-potential's equation of motion $$ \underbrace{\partial^\mu ...
3
votes
3answers
471 views

Quantum mechanical angular momentum and spin formalism/notation

I am currently stuck on the following notation: $\frac{1}{2}\otimes\frac{1}{2} = 0 \text{ (antisym) } \oplus 1 \text{ (sym) }$ No matter what I tried, I couldn't derive the identity. I am sure that ...
1
vote
1answer
163 views

Action of the Lorentz group on scalar fields

The Lorentz groups act on the scalar fields as: $\phi'(x)=\phi(\Lambda^{-1} x)$ The conditions for an action of a group on a set are that the identity does nothing and that $(g_1g_2)s=g_1(g_2s)$. ...
9
votes
1answer
263 views

Why do we classify states under covering groups instead of the group itself?

Why do we always classify states under covering group representations instead of the group itself? For example see the following picture I lifted from 'Symmetry in physics' by Gross So in the first ...
6
votes
1answer
256 views

Equivalent Representations of Clifford Algebra

I'm reviewing David Tong's excellent QFT lecture notes here and am a little confused by something he writes on page 94. We've considered the standard chiral representation of the Clifford Algebra, ...
5
votes
2answers
633 views

Number of Components of a Spinor

I'm trying to develop my understanding of spinors. In quantum field theory I've learned that a spinor is a 4 component complex vector field on Minkowski space which transforms under the chiral ...
1
vote
2answers
406 views

high spin atoms SU(2) representation

I am very confused that some atoms called high spin or magnetic atoms have spin level more than $\frac{1}{2}$ but are still said to have $SU(2)$ symmetry. Why not $SU(N)$?
8
votes
5answers
921 views

The role of representation theory in QM/QFT?

I need help understanding the role of representation theory in QM/QFT. My understanding of representation theory in this context is as follows: there are physical symmetries of the system we are ...
4
votes
2answers
547 views

How do I derive the transformation law of a Weyl spinor under a Lorentz transformation?

Let $\xi$ be a spinor. If $(\theta ,\phi)$ are the parameters of a rotation and pure Lorentz transformation, then how can we prove that the transformation rule for $\xi$ can be written as $$\xi ...
2
votes
1answer
237 views

Taylor series for unitary operator in Weinberg

On page 54 of Weinberg's QFT I, he says that an element $T(\theta)$ of a connected Lie group can be represented by a unitary operator $U(T(\theta))$ acting on the physical Hilbert space. Near the ...
6
votes
4answers
1k views

Calculating the commutator of Pauli-Lubanski operator and generators of Lorentz group

The Pauli-Lubanski operator is defined as $${W^\alpha } = \frac{1}{2}{\varepsilon ^{\alpha \beta \mu \nu }}{P_\beta}{M_{\mu \nu }},\qquad ({\varepsilon ^{0123}} = + 1,\;{\varepsilon _{0123}} = - ...
1
vote
2answers
655 views

Tensor product decomposition of SU(2)

I have a rather trivial question. I am looking for the decomposition of $1/2\otimes 1/2\otimes 1/2$. It should give, $0,1/2$ and $3/2$. I thought one must get as the overall dimension of this space 8, ...
6
votes
2answers
1k views

Particle as a representation of the Lorentz group

In QFT one may refer to a particle as a representation of the Lorentz group (LG). More accurately - every particle is a quantum of some field $\phi(x)$ that belongs to some representation of the LG. I ...
9
votes
2answers
727 views

Schwinger representation of operators for n-particle 2-mode symmetric states

A bosonic (i.e. permutation-symmetric) state of $n$ particles in $2$ modes can be written as a homogenous polynomial in the creation operators, that is $$\left(c_0 \hat{a}^{\dagger n} + c_1 ...
3
votes
1answer
668 views

Does a spin-2 particle really return to its previous state after 180° rotation?

It is often claimed that spin-2 particles return to their previous state after $\pi$ rotation, just like spin-1/2 particles return after $4\pi$ rotation. But my calculation suggests otherwise. Let z ...
4
votes
2answers
214 views

Are there any known potentially useful nontrivial irreducible representations of the Lorentz Group $O(3,1)$ of dimension bigger than 4? Examples?

Are there any known potentially useful, nontrivial, irreducible representations of the Lorentz Group $O(3,1)$ of dimension more than $4$? Examples? A $5$-dimensional representation? EDIT: Is there ...
2
votes
1answer
169 views

How do representations of an isometry group correspond to degrees of freedom/entropy in a system?

To put the question into context: I am currently writing my bachelors thesis on de Sitter space, specifically, $dS_4$. I am trying to show that while the horizon entropy is finite, the isometry group ...
22
votes
4answers
2k views

Could the Periodic Table have been done using group theory?

These three questions are phrased as alternative-history questions, but my real intent is to understand better how well different modeling approaches fit the phenomena they are used to describe; see 1 ...
12
votes
1answer
659 views

Is this a quaternion representation of the equations of motion of General Relativity?

In The Quaternion Group and Modern Physics by P.R. Girard, the quaternion form of the general relativistic equation of motion is derived from $du'/ds = (d a / d s ) u {a_c}^* + a u ( d {a_c}^* / ...
12
votes
3answers
5k views

Adding 3 electron spins

I've learned how to add two 1/2-spins, which you can do with C-G-coefficients. There are 4 states (one singlet, three triplet states). States are symmetric or antisymmetric and the quantum numbers ...
3
votes
2answers
461 views

Why is there a phase factor when the two composite angular momentum is exchanged in Clebsch–Gordan coefficients

An identity exists for CG coefficients: $$\langle j_1 m_1 j_2 m_2 |J M \rangle = (-1)^{j_1+j_2-J} \langle j_2 m_2 j_1 m_1|J M\rangle,$$ But why is there a phase factor $(-1)^{j_1+j_2-J}$? It seems ...
2
votes
1answer
1k views

Yukawa Coupling of a Scalar $SU(2)$ Triplet to a Left-Handed Fermionic $SU(2)$ Doublet

Suppose we have a field theory with a single complex scalar field $\phi$ and a single Dirac Fermion $\psi$, both massless. Let us write $\psi _L=\frac{1}{2}(1-\gamma ^5)\psi$. Then, the Yukawa ...
1
vote
1answer
728 views

Wigner-Eckart projection theorem

I'm following the proof of Wigner-Eckart projection theorem which states that: $$\langle \bf{A} \rangle ~=~ \frac{\langle \bf{A} \cdot \bf{J} \rangle}{\langle {\bf{J}}^2 \rangle} \langle \bf{J} ...