Group theory is a branch of abstract algebra. A group is a set of objects, together with a binary operation, that satisfies four axioms. The set must be closed under the operation and contain an identity object. Every object in the set must have an inverse, and the operation must be associative. ...

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9
votes
1answer
208 views

What exactly do we mean by symmetry in physics?

I'm referring here to invariance of the Lagrangian under Lorentz transformations. There are two possibilities: Physics does not depend on the way we describe it (passive symmetry). We can choose ...
9
votes
2answers
214 views

If $v_{a \dot{b}}$ transforms like a four-vector, what does $v_{a}^{\dot{b}}$ describe?

The $( \frac{1}{2}, 0)$ representation of the Lorentz group acts on left-chiral spinors $\chi_a$, the $( 0,\frac{1}{2} )$ representation on right-chiral spinors $\chi^{\dot a}$. The $( \frac{1}{2}, ...
4
votes
1answer
123 views

How to interpret spin observables constructed by non-standard phase choices?

If we try to find matrix elements of ladder operators ( $J_{\pm}$) for spin when they act on eigenstates of $J^2$ and $J_z$ ( $\newcommand{ket}[1]{\left|#1\right\rangle} ...
9
votes
1answer
131 views

Group notation $\otimes$ and $\oplus$ used for representations of quarks and mesons

I've been trying to figure out this statement from the PDG quark model summary (PDF). Following $\mathrm{SU}(3)$, the nine possible $q\bar{q}′$ combinations containing the light $u$, $d$, and $s$ ...
1
vote
1answer
80 views

Physical interpretation of diffeomorphism from $SO(3)$ to $\mathbb R \mathbb P^3$

I am not good at picturing either $SO(3)$ or $\mathbb R \mathbb P^3$, the latter denoting the real projective space. Can someone give me a rough physical understanding of the geometry and implication ...
3
votes
0answers
70 views

Decomposing a representation under a subgroup [closed]

I am trying to understand what is the method for decomposing representations of a group under one of its subgroups. I already had a look in Slansky, but I could not extract a concrete set of ...
4
votes
1answer
161 views

Branching rules for $SU(3)$

How does one compute the branching rules for $SU(3)\to SU(2)\times U(1)$.? In particular, I do not know how to put the abelian charges. Take for example the adjoint $\mathbf{8}$ of $SU(3)$. I can ...
2
votes
1answer
107 views

Geometry, Group Theory, and Statistical Mechanics

During the course of my first statistical mechanics course we generally concerned ourselves with a bulk amount of our system and considered it in terms of a set of lattice sites that had a state. How ...
0
votes
0answers
39 views

What is the largest subgroup of the Galilean group and the Lorentz group?

What is the largest subgroup of the Galilean group and the Lorentz group? In the book Structure of Dynamical Systems - A Symplectic View of Physics by J.-M. Souriau, the author mentions (p. 168), ...
0
votes
0answers
25 views

Reference request: Relation between $Sp(N)$, $Spin(N) $, $SU(N)$ groups and physics [duplicate]

I want to understand the relationship of the so common $SU(N)$ and $SO(N)$ groups in physics with the symplectic group which I think is the double cover of the first and the Spin groups $Spin(N)$. Is ...
1
vote
1answer
81 views

Representations of subalgebra in the super virasoro algebra

In the Virasoro algebra, which is generated by $L_n$, one has the obvious subalgebra spanned by $L_{-1}$ ,$L_{1}$ and $L_{0}$ which is isomorphic to the Lie algebra $\mathfrak{sl}(2,\mathbb{R})$. The ...
1
vote
1answer
48 views

What conserved quantities does a one-dimensional non-symmetric lattice have?

When I asked what leads to degeneracy of eigenstates of free particle, the answer was parity. But it appears that even if we consider a lattice with non-symmetric cell, so the potential looks as shown ...
2
votes
1answer
91 views

How to diagonalise the Lagrangian mass term with SU(4) symmetry and self-dual tensors

I should write the mass term of the Lagrangian with global SO(4) symmetry in tensor representation with anti-symmetric tensors and then diagonalise this term with defining a new set of tensors ...
4
votes
0answers
201 views

How to calculate $3\otimes 3$ and $3\otimes 3\otimes 3$ in $SU(3)$? [closed]

EDIT: I have boiled my question down to How many independent components does a rank three totally symmetric tensor have in $n$ dimensions? A derivation would be nice too. OP: I know that I can ...
4
votes
2answers
131 views

SU(3) antiquark triplet transformation

I'm reading a rather elementary particle physics text, Modern Particle Physics by Thomson. He is staying away from the heavy group theoretic stuff. He derives the transformation law for an SU(2) ...
3
votes
1answer
130 views

Is there a connection between Lie Groups and observable quantities in physics?

Good evening everybody. I have some questions about the relation between Lie groups and observables in physics. Indeed, taking the example of spin formalism of Quantum mechanics I know that Pauli's ...
2
votes
1answer
80 views

Unitary representations of $SO(3)$ and $so(3)$

According to my skript: Quantum mechanic states $ψ ∈ \mathcal H$ changes under a rotation $R ∈ \text{SO(3)}, \vec{x} \rightarrow R\vec{x}$ according to $ψ \rightarrow U(R)ψ$, whereas $U(R)$ is a ...
3
votes
3answers
419 views

In physics, what is the importance of distinguishing between a matrix and a group? [closed]

On the topic of Pauli matrices, I have noticed that some authors tend to use the term matrix and group interchangeably. I am asking because I do not see see any profound difference referring to the ...
4
votes
0answers
64 views

Why the bosonic part of the superconformal group $SU(2,2|1)$ is $SO(4,1) \times U(1)_R$?

Why in $d=4$ $\mathcal{N}=1$ SCFT the bosonic part of the superconformal group $SU(2,2|1)$ is $SO(4,1) \times U(1)_R$? More generally how can I determine the such a thing in other theories? Is there ...
2
votes
2answers
97 views

Why is space isotropic in the vector particle's decay?

I come across one proof the Landau-Yang Theorem, which states that a $J^P=1^+$ particle cannot decay into two photons, in this paper (page 4). The basic idea is, the photon's wavefunction should be ...
0
votes
0answers
73 views

Lorentz transformations of spinors in $SL(2,\mathbb{C})$

I was wondering what the matrix representations of all the coordinate rotations and Lorentz boosts of the $SL(2,\mathbb{C})$ were along with a general method of solving for them. I've been able to do ...
1
vote
0answers
42 views

What is the physical meaning of U- and V-spin?

$SU(3)$ group has three $SU(2)$ subgroups. The first one (with generators $\lambda_{1}, \lambda_{2}, \lambda_{3}$ of corresponding algebra) is called I-spin, the second one (with generators ...
1
vote
1answer
78 views

Question about global internal $SO(n)$ symmetry

I have the following Lagrangian (density) for bosons $$L = \partial_{\mu} \phi^i \partial^{\mu}\phi^i+ m^2\phi^i \phi^i$$ and I am trying to understand why this Lagrangian is invariant under ...
-1
votes
1answer
110 views

Quadratic Casimir operator of higher dimensional $\mathfrak{su}(3)$ representations

In higher dimensional representations of $\mathfrak{su(3)}$, what will be the quadratic Casimir operator? Is it same as in lower dimensions or different?
3
votes
1answer
152 views

How can the Gallilean transformations form a group?

In class my professor said the Galilean transformations form a group of order 10. $$ x'=x-vt\\ y'=y\\ z'=z\\ t'=t\\ $$ But how do these form a group? I don't see 10 things to interpret as elements. I ...
2
votes
0answers
54 views

Different ways of derivation of Gell-Mann-Okubo mass formula

Recently my teacher have told me that there are many ways of derivation of Gell-Mann-Okubo mass formula by using group representation theory (by using dynamical group etc). Where can I read about ...
8
votes
1answer
369 views

Vector spaces for the irreducible representations of the Lorentz Group

EDIT: The vector space for the $(\frac{1}{2},0)$ Representation is $\mathbb{C}^2$ as mentioned by Qmechanic in the comments to his answer below! The vector spaces for the other representations remain ...
2
votes
3answers
80 views

What is “a vector of $SO(n)$”?

I'm watching (or trying to watch) this lecture from NPTEL on classical field theory. I've understood everything in the series up till this point, including the first half of the lecture on elementary ...
3
votes
0answers
111 views

Why is only the third component of weak isospin used as a conserved quantity?

Using Noether's theorem \begin{equation} \partial_0 \int d^3x \left(\frac{\partial L}{\partial(\partial_0\Psi)} \delta \Psi \right) = 0 \end{equation} we get three conserved quantites $Q_i$ from ...
4
votes
1answer
108 views

Is the Standard Model an invariant subgroup of $SU(5)$?

It is well known that the Standard Model (SM) gauge group is a subgroup of $SU(5)$: \begin{equation} SU(3) \times SU(2)\times U(1) ~\subset~SU(5) \end{equation} This can be easily checked using the ...
1
vote
0answers
44 views

Difference between the 1/2 representation of $SU(2)$ and the (1/2,1) representation of $SU(2)\times SU(2)$? [closed]

What's the difference between the $j = 1/2$ representation of $SU(2)$ and the $(j,j') = ( 1/2 , 1 )$ representation of $SU(2)\times SU(2)$?
3
votes
2answers
269 views

How to understand non-associative composition of velocities in STR?

In STR the composition of non parallel movements is in general non-associative. The formula is $\displaystyle\bar{u}\oplus\bar{v}= \frac{\bar{u}+\bar{v}_{\|}+\bar{v}_\bot/\gamma}{1+\bar u\cdot\bar ...
8
votes
2answers
313 views

Lie algebra in simple terms [closed]

My question is regarding a vector space and Lie algebra. Why is it that whenever I read advanced physics texts I always hear about Lie algebra? What does it mean to "endow a vector space with a lie ...
0
votes
1answer
129 views

Coordinate system for crystallographic groups

In the International Tables for Crystallography for each crystallographic group an asymmetric unit is supplied (mathematicians call this a fundamental domain of the group). This region is a bounded ...
2
votes
1answer
101 views

Does the $\bf{1+3}$ representation of $SU(2)$ also represent $SU(2)\times SU(2)$?

I'm a bit confused about this following issue concerning representations of $SU(2)$. Denote by 1 the 1-dimensional representation of the group $SU(2)$ (=the spin 0). Similarly, denote by 2 and 3 the ...
0
votes
0answers
31 views

Free groups and their appearance, emergence and applications in physics

While trying to develop my knowledge of group theory in physics from a more formal point of view, I noticed an entity called a free group. I'm aware that it is extremely important in pure mathematical ...
0
votes
0answers
47 views

Can we use combined symmetry to simplify the calculation of algebraic PSGs?

In classifying mean-field spin liquids under projective construction, the algebraic projective symmetry group (PSG) approach focus on the mathematical construction of the possible extensions of the ...
4
votes
1answer
375 views

How to get result $3 \otimes 3 = 6 \oplus \bar{3}$ for $SU(3)$ irreducible representations?

Let's have $SU(3)$ irreducible representations $3, \bar{3}$. How to get result that $$ 3\otimes 3 =6 \oplus \bar{3}~? $$ I'm interested in $\bar{3}$ part. It's clear that for $3 \otimes 3$ we can use ...
7
votes
2answers
453 views

Dirac spinors under Parity transformation or what do the Weyl spinors in a Dirac spinor really stand for?

My problem is understanding the transformation behaviour of a Dirac spinor (in the Weyl basis) under parity transformations. The standard textbook answer is $$\Psi^P = \gamma_0 \Psi = ...
2
votes
1answer
81 views

Solution space of a differential equation with 3D rotational symmetry

We know that the space of solutions will be invariant under 3D rotations, but why can we say that the space of solutions will constitute a representation of the rotation group $SO(3)$? We know that a ...
2
votes
0answers
54 views

How to break a irreducible representation into its subgroups

In Grand Unified Theories (though I'm sure this a general group theory result) people write the irreducible representations of a group (i.e., the gauge bosons) using a sum of irreducible ...
3
votes
1answer
203 views

Is time reversal operator not a representation of Lorentz group?

I'm puzzled why every book says that time reversal operator is a representation of full Lorentz group. Because of physical consideration, time reversal is an antilinear operator. While the definition ...
4
votes
1answer
218 views

Is General Relativity based on a Symmetry?

In short: Is there any kind of symmetry one can start with to derive general relativity (GR)? Longer: Einstein had the opinion that GR was the generalisation of special relativity, because instead of ...
2
votes
0answers
32 views

Measure of interaction of two quarks and Casimir operators [closed]

Let's have two quarks, which refers to representations of $r_{1}$ and $r_{2}$ of color symmetry group. They create bounded state which refers to the representation $r$. There is a statement that ...
3
votes
1answer
163 views

What is the four-dimensional representation of the $SU(2)$ generators?

Recently, I have been learning about non-Abelian gauge field theory by myself. Thanks @ACuriousMind very much, as with his help, I have made some progress. I am trying to extend the Dirac field ...
3
votes
2answers
90 views

Unification of the electroweak theory

Can the electroweak theory be described by the spontaneous symmetry breaking of $SU(3)$ to $SU(2)\times U(1)$?
5
votes
1answer
100 views

Symmetries of AdS$_3$, $SO(2,2)$ and $SL(2,\mathbb{R})\times SL(2,\mathbb{R})$

Basically, I want to know how one can see the $SL(2,\mathbb{R})\times SL(2,\mathbb{R})$ symmetry of AdS$_3$ explicitly. AdS$_3$ can be defined as hyperboloid in $\mathbb{R}^{2,2}$ as $$ ...
1
vote
0answers
41 views

Uncharged Gluon Representation

I'm currently learning for an exam and in an old exam the question was posed: If Gluons were uncharged, under which representation would they transform? The ...
3
votes
1answer
83 views

Two different transformation laws for Quantum Fields

I found a nice answer to a problem that was bothering me for quite a while in a lecture script (unfortunately in german). The first step of the answer, is what remains unclear to me. The script states ...
8
votes
1answer
191 views

Group representations as vectors and isomorphism between weights and matrix generators

This might be something basic, but it is unclear to me. So I am used to work with representations of groups as matrices. These matrices represent the structure of the Lie algebra by satisfying the ...