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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2
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0answers
73 views

Relation between representations/classifications

Generally a quantum system can be characterized in the following way: its states form a representation space for every symmetry group of that system. The representation has to be unitary (or ...
7
votes
2answers
249 views

Is a spinor in some sense connected to space?

Spinors transform under the representation of $SL(2,\mathbb{C})$ which is the double cover of the Lorentz group $SO(1,3)$ - or in the non-relativistic case under $SU(2)$, the double cover of $SO(3)$. ...
2
votes
0answers
70 views

What is the difference between the groups $PSU(N)$ and $SU(N)$? [closed]

What is the difference between the groups $PSU(N)$ and $SU(N)$? For example how is $PSU(2,2|4)$ different than $SU(2,2|4)$?
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vote
1answer
87 views

If isospin is conserved under strong interactions why it is represented by SU(2)?

As far as I know from my readings SU(2) is a representation group of isospin symmetry which shows deep symmetry of the strong force which conserves flavor. Isospin symmetry is broken under weak ...
0
votes
1answer
69 views

Why is the Poincaré group non-abelian?

Based on what I've learned, I gather the Poincaré group is the group of isometries of Minkowski spacetime and it is a non-abelian Lie group. Why is it non-abelian? Or perhaps rather, does the fact ...
1
vote
1answer
71 views

Why use class multiplication to describe topological entangling and merging?

I'm studying some references about topological defects in ordered media like Soft matter physics: An introduction by Kleman and the Review modern physics paper The topological theory of defects in ...
0
votes
2answers
594 views

Tensor product of two different Pauli matrices $\sigma_2\otimes\eta_1 $

I'm solving problem 3.D in H. Georgi Lie Algebra etc for fun where one is to compute the matrix elements of the direct product $\sigma_2\otimes\eta_1$ where $[\sigma_2]_{ij}\text{ and }[\eta_1]_{xy}$ ...
1
vote
3answers
138 views

$SO(3)$, $SU(2)$ and symmetries in quantum mechanics [duplicate]

A rotation in the vector space $\mathbb{R}^3$ is represented by the known 3x3-matrices. But at this point I'm really confused how to get from there to Quantum Mechanics. The group of ...
2
votes
0answers
34 views

Simplification of matrix-element given the Wigner-Eckardt theorem and Clebsch-Gordon coefficients of a 1,1/2 system

How can I simplify the following matrix-elements $$\left\langle 1,1/2;m_1,m_2\left| S \right| 1,1/2;m_1^{'},m_2^{'} \right\rangle$$ given the Wigner-Eckard theorem $$\left\langle j,m|S|j^{'},m^{'} ...
2
votes
1answer
85 views

Does $GL(N,\mathbb{R})$ own spinor representation? Which group is its covering group? (Kaku's QFT textbook)

In Kaku's QFT textbook page 54, there is a saying: $GL(N)$ does not have any finite-dimensional spinorial representation. This implicates that $GL(N)$ owns infinite-dimensional spinorial ...
6
votes
0answers
133 views

Group theory and quantum optics

This is a question about application of group theory to physics. The starting point is the group $SU(n)$. I have a representation $R$ of $SU(n)$ that takes values on the unitary group on an infinite ...
2
votes
2answers
130 views

What's the degree of freedom of this kind of matrix?

We first have a unitary matrix $$\{a_{ij}\}\quad(n\times n)$$ I know how to calculate its degree of freedom, which is $n^2$ if we consider a real variable as one degree of freedom. Now we have a ...
8
votes
2answers
176 views

Subgroup of Lorentz Group Generated by Boosts

It is common knowledge that a composition of boosts is not a boost, but involves a rotation. Further, in discussions of Thomas precession, it is often stated that boosting in $x$, then $y$, then back ...
6
votes
1answer
196 views

How can we measure chirality in experiments?

Chirality is a concept quite different from helicity. These two concepts only happen to have the same numerical value for massless particles. I understand that we can measure helicity, but how can we ...
3
votes
1answer
97 views

Is there a general theorem stating why the restricted Lorentz group's exponential map is surjective?

The exponential map for the restricted Lorentz group is surjective. An outline of why is shown on the wiki page Representation Theory of the Lorentz Group. Is there a more general theorem that states ...
3
votes
2answers
231 views

Why is the $(\frac{1}{2},\frac{1}{2})$ representation of the Lorentz group realized as the vector space of complex $2\times 2$ matrices?

Why can we write an arbitrary object $v_{a \dot{b} }$ our transformations in this basis act on as $$ v_{a \dot{b} } = v_{\nu} \sigma^{ \nu}_{a \dot{b} } = v^0 \begin{pmatrix} 1&0 \\ 0&1 ...
3
votes
2answers
131 views

Identifying irreps of $SU(2)$

How does one verify that, the representations of $SU(2)$ corresponding to $j=1/2$ or $j=1$ is irreducible? I think showing the irreducibility (taking the representative matrices into a block-diagonal ...
11
votes
1answer
283 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
231 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
135 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
177 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
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1answer
84 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
104 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
248 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
142 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 ...
1
vote
0answers
31 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
98 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
49 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
104 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 ...
5
votes
0answers
321 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
235 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) ...
2
votes
1answer
168 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
95 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
429 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
68 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
221 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
87 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
186 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
259 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
87 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 ...
10
votes
2answers
427 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
92 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
134 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
120 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 ...
2
votes
0answers
65 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
357 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
562 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
153 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
124 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
634 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 ...