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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2answers
3k views

Wyckoff positions and lattice coordinations

Many papers use Wyckoff positions and Space Groups to report atom coordinates, making use of the structure's symmetries to save space in the notation (e.g. diamond = Fd-3m, only). How can I ...
2
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1answer
448 views

Generators of the lorentz group

I have the following minus sign problem: Consider an infinitesimal Lorentz transformation for which $\Lambda^{\mu}_{\nu}=\delta^{\mu}_{\nu}+\lambda^{\mu}_{\nu}$, where $\lambda^{\mu}_{\nu}$ is ...
2
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2answers
988 views

Irreducible representation in physics

I am confused about something. Group theory books written for physicists say that any reducible representation can be decomposed in terms of irreducible representations (so correct me if I am wrong, ...
2
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1answer
98 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, $U(1)$)?
7
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2answers
647 views

How does non-Abelian gauge symmetry imply the quantization of the corresponding charges?

I read an unjustified treatment in a book, saying that in QED charge an not quantized by the gauge symmetry principle (which totally clear for me: Q the generator of $U(1)$ can be anything in ...
3
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1answer
205 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 ...
6
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0answers
246 views

Coupling Coefficients in SO(4)

I have two equations (from two distinct authors) for the decomposition of a coupling coefficient of SO(4) (i.e. Wigner 3j-symbol for SO(4)). In the first: ...
3
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1answer
296 views

An odd relation with the epsilon/delta invariant tensors of SO(3)

The rotation group SO(3) can be viewed as the group that preserves our old friends the delta tensor $\delta^{ab}$ and $\epsilon^{abc}$ (the totally antisymmetric tensor). In equations, this says: ...
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1answer
106 views

What is an isoscalar factor?

I need to find a definition for "the isoscalar factors of 3j-symbols for the restriction $SO(n)\supset SO(n-1)$...denoted by brackets with a composite subscript $(n: n-1)$..." They are given as: $$ ...
4
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2answers
344 views

Is there a 1-1 correspondence between symmetry and group theory?

The professor in my class of mathematical physics introduces the definition of groups and said that group theory is the mathematics of symmetry. He gave also some examples of groups such as the set ...
8
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2answers
199 views

Wilson Loops in Chern-Simons theory with non-compact gauge groups

VEVs of Wilson loops in Chern-Simons theory with compact gauge groups give us colored Jones, HOMFLY and Kauffman polynomials. I have not seen the computation for Wilson loops in Chern-Simons theory ...
9
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5answers
819 views

Simple applications of group theory which can be understood by a senior undergrad

I am looking for references (books or web links) which have "simple" examples on the use of group theory in physics or science in general. I have looked at many books on the subject unfortunately ...
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2answers
124 views

Group of symmetries of Lagrange's equations

Consider the following statements, for a classical system whose configuration space has dimension $d$: Lagrange equations admit a smaller group of "symmetries" (coordinate change under which ...
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2answers
251 views

Is this a simple Lie algebra?

This question comes from Georgi, Lie Alegbras in Particle Physics. Consider the algebra generated by $\sigma_a\otimes1$ and $\sigma_a\otimes \eta_1$ where $\sigma_a$ and $\eta_1$ are Pauli matrices ...
4
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1answer
67 views

Convexity — reference request

I've been reading a few papers on generalized probabilistic theories, and have been struggling through proofs of some results that involve use of convexity and group theory, e.g. this paper on bit ...
7
votes
1answer
101 views

what compactifications of the Poincare group have been studied?

as we know the Poincare group is non-compact. Poincare invariance have been observed in velocities and energies up to $10^{20}$ eV in cosmic rays. The other day i was thinking in how $SU(2)$ ...
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3answers
733 views

Is the Lorentz group compact (and if not, is U(1)?)

A common statement in any quantum field theory text is that only compact groups have finite-dimensional representations, and that the Lorentz group is not compact, since it is parameterised by $0\leq ...
4
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1answer
202 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 ...
22
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0answers
400 views

Orbits of maximally entangled mixed states

It is well known (Please, see for example Geometry of quantum states by Bengtsson and ┼╗yczkowski ) that the set of $N-$dimensional density matrices is stratified by the adjoint action of $U(N)$, where ...
20
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1answer
149 views

Any use for $F_4$ in hep-th?

In high energy physics, the use of the classical Lie groups are common place, and in the Grand Unification the use of $E_{6,7,8}$ is also common place. In string theory $G_2$ is sometimes utilized, ...
14
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2answers
86 views

Counting complete sets of mutually unbiased bases composed of stabilizer states

Consider $N$ qubits. There are many complete sets of $2^N+1$ mutually unbiased bases formed exclusively of stabilizer states. How many? Each complete set can be constructed as follows: partition the ...
7
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1answer
52 views

Are lens spaces classified via a Weinberg angle?

I am thinking about Kaluza Klein theory in the 3 dimensional lens spaces. These have an isometry group SU(2)xU(1), generically, and in some way interpolate between the extreme cases of manifolds $S^2 ...
21
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5answers
158 views

Which symmetric pure qudit states can be reached within local operations?

There are two pure symmetric states $|\psi\rangle$ and $|\phi\rangle$ of $n$ qudits. Is there any known set of invariants $\{I_i:i\in\{1,\ldots,k\}\}$ which is equal for both states iff ...
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2answers
171 views

Why is the crystallography restriction obeyed?

The crystallography restriction states that any 2-dimensional lattice can have rotational symmetry of degree 1, 2, 3, 4 or 6 - and that's it. A simple proof of I've heard of this is: the magnitude of ...
17
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2answers
157 views

Can symmetry generators be used for quantization?

Take the Poincar├ę group for example. The conservation of rest-mass $m_0$ is generated by the invariance with respect to $p^2 = -\partial_\mu\partial^\mu$. Now if one simply claims The state where ...
6
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1answer
158 views

Group transformations on $H_2O$

In my readings of Mirman (1995), "Group Theory: An Intuitive Approach", on p.35 he asks me to consider a so-called "water group" that has 4 transformations. I'll list them for completeness, but I'm ...
25
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13answers
4k views

Comprehensive book on group theory for physicists?

I am looking for a good source on group theory aimed at physicists. I'd prefer one with a good general introduction to group theory, not just focusing on Lie groups or crystal groups but one that ...
21
votes
5answers
3k views

What is the usefulness of the Wigner-Eckart theorem?

I am doing some self-study in between undergrad and grad school and I came across the beastly Wigner-Eckart theorem in Sakurai's Modern Quantum Mechanics. I was wondering if someone could tell me why ...
7
votes
3answers
255 views

Basic Spin or Double Cover Experiment

We know that Spin is described with $SU(2)$ and that $SU(2)$ is a double cover of the rotation group $SO(3)$. This suggests a simple thought experiment, to be described below. The question then is in ...
8
votes
2answers
725 views

Modern and complete references for the $k\cdot p$ method?

I've recently started studying the $k\cdot p$ method for describing electronic bandstructures near the centre of the Brillouin zone and I've been finding it hard to find any pedagogical references on ...
13
votes
2answers
707 views

Is the G2 Lie algebra useful for anything?

Seems like all the simpler Lie algebras have a use in one or another branch of theoretical physics. Even the exceptional E8 comes up in string theory. But G2? I've always wondered about that one. ...
8
votes
5answers
2k views

How is it that angular velocities are vectors, while rotations aren't?

Does anyone have an intuitive explanation of why this is the case?
22
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3answers
1k views

Lie theory, Representations and particle physics

This is a question that has been posted at many different forums, I thought maybe someone here would have a better or more conceptual answer than I have seen before: Why do physicists care about ...
33
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8answers
3k views

Is there something similar to Noether's theorem for discrete symmetries?

Noether's theorem states that, for every continuous symmetry of a system, there exists a conserved quantity, e.g. energy conservation for time invariance, charge conservation for $U(1)$. Is there any ...