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

9
votes
4answers
311 views

Seeking a quality plain-language description of the Wigner-Eckart theorem

I'm a third year physics undergrad with a very cursory knowledge of quantum mechanics and the formalism involved. For instance, I understand roughly how tensors work and what it means for a tensor to ...
1
vote
1answer
66 views

Classical spin viewed as $SU(2)$

In which sense is the configuration variable of a classical spin $SU(2)$? I can view a classical spin as a unit vector in $\mathbb{S}^2$ (2-dim. sphere), but it seems it is really given by a matrix ...
26
votes
0answers
658 views

Orbits of maximally entangled mixed states

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

Is the spin 1/2 rotation matrix taken to be counterclockwise?

The spin 1/2 rotation matrix around the $z$-axis I worked out to be $$ e^{i\theta S_z}=\begin{pmatrix} \exp\frac{i\theta}{2}&0\\ 0&\exp\frac{-i\theta}{2}\\ \end{pmatrix} $$ Is this taken to ...
1
vote
0answers
38 views

Why do decompositons like $16 \otimes 16 = 10 \oplus 120 \oplus 126$ tell us which Higgs representations we can use?

This line of thought is used everywhere in Grand Unified Theories, but I can't figure out why this works and it must be very obvious because no one seems to offer an explanation. Commonly the ...
4
votes
1answer
116 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 ...
2
votes
0answers
48 views

Are mass terms forbidden in the Lagrangian because of parity violation or because fermions live in a complex representation?

Normally one argues that we can't write down Lorentz AND gauge invariant mass terms, because of parity violation, i.e. l-chiral and r-chiral fields transform differently. This means that mass terms ...
3
votes
0answers
61 views

Is Witten's claim that gauge group representations get exchanged with its dual under parity correct?

I'm currently reading Physics and Geometry by Witten, which I really liked up to the point where he claimed that we exchange representations $R$ and $\tilde R$ under parity transformations, where $R$ ...
0
votes
0answers
35 views

The concept of continuity in a topological group [migrated]

I am now learning the Lie group theory. People talk about the fundamental group of a topological group. The problem is, how is the continuity defined in a topological group? In other words, in which ...
2
votes
1answer
27 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 $$ g = e^{i a J_+} e^{i b J_z} e^{i c J_-} . $$ ...
2
votes
1answer
220 views

Does the low-energy gauge structure depend on the choice of $SU(2)$ gauge freedom?

The starting point and notations used here are presented in Two puzzles on the Projective Symmetry Group(PSG)?. As we know, Invariant Gauge Group(IGG) is a normal subgroup of Projective Symmetry ...
6
votes
2answers
121 views

$su(1,1) \cong su(2)$?

The three generators of $su(2)$ satisfy the commutation relations $$ [J_0 , J_\pm] = J_\pm , \quad [J_+, J_- ] = +2J_0 .$$ The three generators of $su(1,1)$ satisfy the commutation relations $$ ...
4
votes
1answer
103 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 ...
1
vote
3answers
307 views

Non-symmetric Lorentz Matrix

I was working out a relatively simple problem, where one has three inertial systems $S_1$, $S_2$ and $S_3$. $S_2$ moves with a velocity $v$ relative to $S_1$ along it's $x$-axis, while $S_3$ moves ...
6
votes
1answer
240 views

How to construct an isomorphism between the Complexified Special Linear Lie Group and the Special Unitary Group?

This may be an unenlightening question, but I'm just not sure about the result and hoping someone can help me varify it. $\\$ This question is related to these three questions. $\\$ I want to ...
0
votes
1answer
26 views

How to construct generators and Lie Algebra for Lorentz group?

I'm trying to figure out Lorentz group in 2+1. First of all, I'd like to think the special orthgonal group as a combination of rotation and boost in space. Then I construct it as below. First rotation ...
1
vote
0answers
31 views

Which representation do we start with in Grand Unified Theories?

The conventional approach in GUTs is to put all left-chiral fields $F_L$ of the standard model into one representation of the GUT group. For example, the 16 rep for $SO(10)$ GUT: $$ 16_L \rightarrow ...
3
votes
1answer
55 views

3D isotropic oscillator and angular momentum algebra

In our QM class, the prof said: "We are ready to begin constructing the individual states of the 3D isotropic harmonic oscillator system. The key property is that the states must organize ...
1
vote
2answers
65 views

Why gauge fields are traceless Hermitian?

So I've had a read of this, and I'm still not convinced as to why gauge fields are traceless and Hermitian. I follow the article fine, it's just the section that says "don't worry about this ...
3
votes
1answer
134 views

Group theoretic way to find charges after SSB

I was wondering what is the group theoretic way to find the resulting charges of matter fields after a scalar field is given a vev. In the case of the EW symmetry breaking, one can directly read the ...
2
votes
1answer
65 views

Spinors and Möbius strips

I asked this question on Math.SE as I thought the perspective of representation theory might be enlightening. But since the question was provoked by a description of Spinors describing the spin of ...
2
votes
2answers
49 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: ...
17
votes
1answer
381 views

Why do we need complex representations in Grand Unified Theories?

EDIT4: I think I was now able to track down where this dogma originally came from. Howard Georgi wrote in TOWARDS A GRAND UNIFIED THEORY OF FLAVOR There is a deeper reason to require ...
3
votes
1answer
67 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
268 views
6
votes
1answer
167 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
53 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, ...
0
votes
1answer
30 views

What is the current state of axion research theoretically?

Is the problem (the strong CP problem) that is solved by axions still considered a really big problem, like the missing mass terms that could be solved by the Higgs mechanism? Or is it more a ...
2
votes
2answers
103 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 ...
1
vote
0answers
22 views

Recipe to compute dimension and decompose product of $SO(N)$ group representations [migrated]

As it is well known Young tableaux (YT) provide an efficient and very useful way to treat $SU(N)$ representation. This is principally based on these facts: There is a correspondence between irreps ...
39
votes
9answers
4k 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 ...
4
votes
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 ...
5
votes
2answers
100 views

Possible mechanics based on the known symmetries in the nature (investigating rumor)

Somewhere I've heard about a relative new mathematical result regarding mechanics. Specifically, there is a list of the known symmetries of mechanics (both Newtonian and relativistic), i.e. different ...
0
votes
1answer
113 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 ...
15
votes
1answer
2k views

How do I construct the $SU(2)$ representation of the Lorentz Group using $SU(2)\times SU(2)\sim SO(3,1)$ ?

This question is based on problem II.3.1 in Anthony Zee's book Quantum Field Theory in a Nutshell (I'm reading this for fun- it isn't a homework problem.) Show, by explicit calculation, that ...
0
votes
0answers
20 views

How can we determine the Hypercharges in a GUT like SO(10)?

I understand how the assignment works for a symmetry breaking like $$SO(10) \rightarrow SU(3)_C \times SU(2)_L \times SU(2)_R \times U(1)_X$$ The Hypercharge can then easily computed by $$ ...
2
votes
2answers
103 views

Half-integer spin and infinitesimal rotations

On p. 692 of 'Quantum Mechanics' by Cohen-Tannoudji, he states that: Every finite rotation can be decomposed into an infinite number of infinitesimal rotations, since the angle of rotation can ...
15
votes
2answers
635 views

What is (meant by) a non-compact $U(1)$ Lie group?

In John Preskill's review of monopoles he states Nowadays, we have another way of understanding why electric charge is quantized. Charge is quantized if the electromagnetic U(l)em gauge group ...
0
votes
0answers
20 views

Casimir operators of the Poincare Group

Say, $P^2$ and $W^2$ are the Casimir operators of the Poincare Group. Should the commutator of these Casimir operators be zero, because then they would be independent of each other and form a unique ...
12
votes
1answer
434 views

How to evaluate this sum of coupling coefficients?

I would like to evaluate the following summation of Clebsch-Gordan and Wigner 6-j symbols in closed form: $$\sum_{l,m} C_{l_2,m_2,l_1,m_1}^{l,m} C_{\lambda_2,\mu_2,\lambda_1,\mu_1}^{l,m} \left\{ ...
0
votes
0answers
40 views

The Lie algebra of the Lorentz group is $su(2) \oplus su(2)$. Is there a similar relation for the algebra of the Poincare group?

It can be shown easily, by introducing new generators from the usual ones that we can think of the Lie algebra of the Lorentz group as being built up by two copies of the $SU(2)$ Lie algebra: $$ ...
4
votes
1answer
103 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 ...
4
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 ...
2
votes
1answer
217 views

Question on derivation of Ward identity

I'm currently reading these notes about the Ward identity (pages 259 - 261). I will repeat some of the steps to make the question self-contained. Let us consider a local transformation on the field ...
9
votes
3answers
150 views

Why is the “real” gauge group of the standard model $SU(3) \times SU(2) \times U(1) /N$?

In this paper John Baez says the real gauge group of the standard model is $SU(3) \times SU(2) \times U(1) /N$. Can someone explain the logic behind this line of thought? Firstly, does this group ...
1
vote
0answers
41 views

How to get from $E_8 \rightarrow E_7 \rightarrow E_6 \rightarrow …$

I read in section 2 of this paper : "There is a well-defined chain to descent from $E_8$ to smaller groups by chopping off a node of the Dynkin diagram." What exactly is here referring to ...
2
votes
1answer
30 views

Dimension and Basis properties of $SU(N)$

$SU(N)$ is the group of special unitary matrices of dimension $N$, i.e., the set of all unitary ($U^{\dagger}U=I$) $N\times N$ matrices with $\det(U)=1$. For $N=2$, these matrices are spanned by the ...
4
votes
2answers
139 views

Where does the $50^*$ in $SU(5): 10\otimes10= 5^*\oplus45^*\oplus 50^*$ in A. Zee QFT?

See A. Zee, QFT in a nutshell, Appendix B, eq. (24) (p. 469 in first edition with a typo $55^*\to50^*$, cf. Zee errata; p. 530 in second edition.) Where does the $50^*$ in $SU(5)$: $$10\otimes10= ...
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 ...