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. ...

learn more… | top users | synonyms

4
votes
1answer
244 views

Question about the Killing form in Georgi

I'm trying to understand the Killing form described on page 49 in the book by Howard Georgi. He starts by saying that one defines the inner product between two generators $T_a$ and $T_b$ in the ...
4
votes
3answers
420 views

Must all symmetries have consequences?

Must all symmetries have consequences? We know that transnational invariance, for example, leads to momentum conservation, etc, cf. Noether's Theorem. Is it possible for a theory or a model to have ...
4
votes
1answer
122 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} ...
4
votes
2answers
121 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) ...
4
votes
1answer
208 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 ...
4
votes
3answers
507 views

Can a Wick rotation be performed on the Pauli algebra to get from $+++$ to $+--$ signature?

Wick rotation makes sense for the Dirac algebra: it has $+---$ and $++++$ and $----$ signatures. Just wondering if one can Wick rotate the Pauli algebra from the standard $+++$ Pauli matrices to ...
4
votes
1answer
122 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
75 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
votes
1answer
156 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
votes
1answer
497 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
710 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
585 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
71 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 ...
4
votes
0answers
101 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
0answers
197 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
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 ...
4
votes
0answers
102 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
253 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
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 ...
3
votes
3answers
416 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
294 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
281 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?
3
votes
1answer
94 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
194 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
3answers
62 views

Uniqueness of expression of a Lie group element

Just take the SU(2) group as an example. The three generators are $J_z$, $J_+$, and $J_-$. For an element $ g $, sometimes we want to express it as $$ g = e^{i a J_+} e^{i b J_z} e^{i c J_-} . $$ ...
3
votes
2answers
113 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
240 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
146 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
160 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
537 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
319 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
598 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
115 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
65 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
265 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
100 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
votes
1answer
165 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
139 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
202 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
159 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
179 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
1answer
128 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
87 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
votes
1answer
124 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
191 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
320 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
423 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
220 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
58 views

Correct vector space of eigenkets of angular momentum

When we say an particle is in the state: \begin{equation} |l,m\rangle, \end{equation} what is the underlying state space, as a vector space? Is it a tensor product vector space, of dimension: ...