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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117 views

Why $SU(3)$ has eight generators?

The generators of $SU(3)$ group are Gell-Mann matrices and one can construct these generators from Pauli spin matrices, basically expanding in 3d and rotating about each axis. Take $\sigma_3$, assume ...
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1answer
73 views

General construction of equations of motion for free particles

I've got a question regarding the different Symmetrie-Lie-Groups of Newtonian Mechanics and special realtivity. Is there a canonical way to obtain the equations of motion for a free particle only by ...
4
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1answer
145 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 ...
4
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1answer
477 views

Is the symmetry group of two spin 1/2 particles $SU(2) \times SU(2)$ or $SU(4)$?

This is a simple question. Please forgive me, as I am a lowly experimentalist. Suppose we have two free spin 1/2 particles, i.e. a 4-fold degenerate system. What is the set of symmetry operations ...
4
votes
1answer
677 views

Why helicity is proportional to the spin of particle and has two values?

How can it be shown without using the little group formalism? Let's have the Wigner's classification for the irreducible represetation of the Poincare group. For the massless case the eigenvalues of ...
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2answers
563 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
208 views

Linearizing Quantum Operators

I was reading an article on harmonic generation and came across the following way of decomposing the photon field operator. $$ \hat{A}={\langle}\hat{A}{\rangle}I+ \Delta\hat{a}$$ The right hand side ...
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votes
1answer
66 views

Where does in GUT symmetry breaking $U(1)$ come from?

In GUTs one starts with some larger group, like $SU(5)$, which is then broken into smaller groups, for example $$SU(5) ~\longrightarrow~ SU(3) \times SU(2) \times U(1)$$ This can be seen, for ...
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96 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
104 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 ...
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163 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 ...
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63 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 ...
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0answers
101 views

Unitary gauge for non-abelian case

I'm reading Chapter 19 of Mandle and Shaw's Quantum field theory. In the first section it is explained that one can go with a $SU(2)$ followed by a $U(1)$ transformation from ...
4
votes
1answer
248 views

Research problems in application of Lie groups to differential equations [closed]

Are there any open problems in physics involving Lie groups and differential equations for a phd theses. Some applications are say, Noether's theorem in classical or quantum field theory. But I am ...
4
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1answer
362 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 ...
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votes
3answers
412 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 ...
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2answers
279 views

Under which representation of U(1) transform electron and photon gauge field?

I know that under $SU(2) \times SU(2)$, the left-handed electron transforms under $ ( \frac{1}{2},0 ) $ representation and the vector gauge field $A_\mu$ under $ ( \frac{1}{2},\frac{1}{2}) $. Since ...
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votes
1answer
271 views

Could the 6 extra dimensions in superstring theory be a product of two manifolds?

Could the 6 extra dimensions in superstring theory be a product of two manifolds?
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1answer
90 views

About $SU(2)_L \times U(1)_L = U(2)_L $

In the many textbook of standard model, i encounter the relation \begin{align} SU(2)_L \times U(1)_L ~=~ U(2)_L. \end{align} Here $L$ means the left-handness. (It is a physical ...
3
votes
1answer
189 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
110 views

What is the axial transformation of a group, i.e. $SU(3)$?

The Gell-Mann matrices $\lambda^\alpha$ are the generators of $SU(3)$. Applying an SU(3) - transformation on the triple $q = ( u , d, s )$ of 4-spinors looks like this: $$ q \rightarrow q' = e^{i ...
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votes
2answers
220 views

Difference between “Lorentz transformation” and “proper orthochronous”

I'm doing an assignment and I've been given a list of $4 \times 4$ matrices and asked: Which of the following are Lorentz transformation matrices? Which are proper and orthochronous? But, as ...
3
votes
1answer
126 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 ...
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votes
1answer
146 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
1answer
515 views

Noether First and Second Theorem

I have this question related to the the Noether's Theorems. I want to know a rigorous enough enunciation of this theorem, the context is Classical Field Theory without fancy geometrical structures ...
3
votes
1answer
301 views

What does it mean for a Hamiltonian to be SU(2) invariant?

Can somebody explain what it means when one says a Hamiltonian is SU(2) invariant? I know Heisenberg Hamiltonian is SU(2) invariant but why?
3
votes
2answers
591 views

Orthochronous Lorentz transformations are time-preserving and $SL(2,\mathbb{R})$

Let's consider the psuedosphere/hyperboloid in $\mathbb{R}^{1,2}$ given by $$x^2+y^2-z^2=-R^2.$$ We know that the Lorentz group $$O(1,2)=\{ A \in Mat(3,\mathbb{R}): A^tGA=G \},$$ where ...
3
votes
1answer
113 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, $U(1)$)?
3
votes
2answers
54 views

Normalising Generators of a Lie Algebra

Ok, so I'm asking this in physics because I'm currently working through part of Srednicki's text on QFT, even though it's really a maths question. In Srednicki's chapter on non-Abelian gauge theory, ...
3
votes
2answers
255 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
95 views

What's the relationship between uncertainty principle and symplectic groups?

What's the relationship between uncertainty principle and symplectic groups? Does the symplectic groups mathematically capture anything fundamental about uncertainty principle?
3
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1answer
163 views

What is the idea behind counting the number of excited states and the representation of a group ?

While reading Polchinski's Chapter 1, I encountered the following on page 24, "For example, the $(D-1)$ dimensional vector representation of $SO(D-1)$ breaks up into an invariant and a $(D-2)$-vector ...
3
votes
1answer
133 views

Ricci flat compact manifold with $U(1)\times{}SU(2)\times{}SU(3)$ isometry group?

As the title says, is it possible to have a Riemannian Ricci flat compact manifold with $U(1)\times{}SU(2)\times{}SU(3) $ isometry group?
3
votes
1answer
197 views

Difference Between Algebra of Infinitesimal Conformal Transformations & Conformal Algebra

in Blumenhagen Book on conformal field theory, It is mentioned that the algebra of infinitesimal conformal transformation is different from the conformal algebra and on page 11, conformal algebra is ...
3
votes
2answers
157 views

Unitary groups and infinitesimal transformations - Schwingers way of deriving Lie groups

In Schwinger's source theory book, he suggests if $G_a$ are the hermitian generators of the Unitary group, then we have an infinitesimal transformation is given by : $$ G = \sum_{a=1}^n ...
3
votes
2answers
167 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
79 views

Unification of the electroweak theory

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

Traces in different representation

I am actually working with Green-Schwarz anomaly cancellation mechanism in which I have came across a strange formula which relates trace in the adjoint representation (Tr) to trace in fundamental ...
3
votes
1answer
122 views

Real representation is physically real?

In Peskin & Schroder, Introduction to Quantum Field Theory equation (15.82) states that $$ t^a_{\bar{r}} = -(t^a_{r})^* = (t^a_{r})^T $$ Why is the representation which satisfies $$ ...
3
votes
2answers
182 views

Why do the states of a spin multiplet have to have the same symmetry?

This was said in Prof. Balakrishnan lecture 19 on quantum mechanics for the case of exchange symmetry, but he showed no reason why. For example, the system corresponding to two spin $\frac{1}{2}$ ...
3
votes
1answer
309 views

Is the spin-rotation symmetry of Kitaev model $D_2$ or $Q_8$?

It is known that the Kitaev Hamiltonian and its spin-liquid ground state both break the $SU(2)$ spin-rotation symmetry. So what's the spin-rotation-symmetry group for the Kitaev model? It's obvious ...
3
votes
1answer
412 views

How do I find the tensor components of all weights of a representation of $SU(3)$, e.g. the six dimensional representation $(2,0)$?

How do I find the corresponding tensor component $v^{ij}$ of the six dimensional representation of $SU(3)$ with Dynkin label $(2,0)$?
3
votes
1answer
216 views

What's a pseudo-rotation?

I'm sorry for this lexical, probably extremely elementary, question. But what is a pseudo-rotation? I just read this term for the first time, in the beginning of the 4th chapter book of CFT by Di ...
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votes
1answer
69 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) = ...
3
votes
1answer
73 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 ...
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2answers
105 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
80 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
83 views

Permutations of two identical particles in two dimensions

In three spatial dimensions there are only two possible statistics: Bose-Einstein and Fermi-Dirac. This is the fact related with the statement that first homotopic group of 3-dimensional configuration ...
3
votes
1answer
139 views

Group theoretical reason that Gluons carry charge and anticharge

I was wondering how it is possible to see from the $SU(3)$ Gauge Theory alone that Gluons carry two charges colors: $g\overline{b}$ etc. Some background: The W-Bosons (pre-symmetry breaking) ...
3
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2answers
73 views

What is different in representation?

I'm sorry if this is somewhat a dumb question. First: "Representation theory is a branch of mathematics that studies abstract algebraic structures by representing their elements as linear ...