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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1answer
178 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 be ...
7
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2answers
1k views

Definition of Casimir operator and its properties

I'm not sure which is the exact definition of a Casimir operator. In some texts it is defined as the product of generators of the form: $$X^2=\sum X_iX^i$$ But in other parts it is defined as an ...
14
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3answers
405 views

Can someone please qualitatively explain unitary group from a physics perspective?

Unitary Groups is the most mysterious thing for me when studying physics. All my physics endeavor ends when author starts talking about unitary groups. This is often the case because in a lot of the ...
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0answers
69 views

General definition of vector spinor and spin

I am looking for basic and exact definitions of fundamental physical consepts in graduate level. I reach this following definitions. Could you please help to improve these definitions. Spin: ...
4
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0answers
174 views

Fields with SO(3) diagonal subgroup symmetry

I read about a Higgs field $\vec{\phi}=\frac{1}{2}a\hat{r}\cdot \vec{\sigma}$ (in the context of 't Hooft-Polyakov monopole) with SO(3) diagonal subgroup symmetry consisting of simultaneous and equal ...
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0answers
45 views

Same number of independent parameters for $SO(n)$ and $O(n)$ [migrated]

Why is the number of independent parameters for $SO(n)$ and $O(n)$ same, in spite of an additional constraint of unit determinant for $SO(n)$?
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0answers
32 views

Lie theory and particle physics [duplicate]

I have recently been reading Intro to Lie algebras and representation theory by Humphreys, and when I am finished I am interested in reading about Lie groups and Lie algebras and their applications to ...
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13answers
5k 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 ...
10
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2answers
471 views

How to prove $(\gamma^\mu)^\dagger=\gamma^0\gamma^\mu\gamma^0$?

Studying the basics of spin-$\frac{1}{2}$ QFT, I encountered the gamma matrices. One important property is $(\gamma^5)^\dagger=\gamma^5$, the hermicity of $\gamma^5$. After some searching, I stumbled ...
2
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2answers
81 views

Constructing SUSY algebra via index structure

Often in literature the SUSY algebra is simply given, but various books, for example Bailin and Love, goes through the trouble of showing how the SUSY commutation relations are the only possible ones ...
3
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2answers
69 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?
2
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1answer
170 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 ...
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0answers
37 views

What are differences between Spin(3,1), SL(2,C), SO(3,1) and SU(2) representations? Which one is correct exact representation for spinor fields? [duplicate]

I want to understand which group transformations exactly represent spinor fields. That is, do spinor fields transform under the Lorentz group $\mathrm{SO}(3,1)$ or under $\mathrm{Spin}(3,1)$? What ...
3
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1answer
141 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
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2answers
72 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 ...
0
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1answer
57 views

Rotating a complex number

Let us begin in a two-dimensional Euclidean plane. The vector is e.g. $\vec{V}(x,y)$ It is often useful – but in this case, it's just a mathematical trick that doesn't make the complex numbers ...
10
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1answer
557 views

What is the difference between the properties of Electron spin and Photon polarization/helicity?

What is the difference between a photon's polarization/helicity and an electrons spin half? I know that the photon is spin 1 but isn't its polarization analogous to spin half? This question stems ...
3
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1answer
112 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
104 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 ...
0
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1answer
48 views

Notation in the book Symmetry by Hermann Weyl

I'm having troubles understanding a notation of the symmetry groups in a book "Symmetry" by Hermann Weyl. On the page 80 of the 1952 Princeton University Press edition of the book, Weyl lists the ...
2
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1answer
40 views

relating spinor and fundamental representation for $E_8$

While proving a very important relation which is satisfied both by $SO(32)$ AND $E_8$, which makes it possible to factorize the anomaly into two parts. The relation is ...
3
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1answer
137 views

Research problems in application of Lie groups to differential equations

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 ...
7
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2answers
398 views

Why does $\mathcal L = -\frac14 F^{\mu\nu} F_{\mu\nu}$ imply Photons are massless?

The Lagrangian $\mathcal L = -\frac14 F^{\mu\nu} F_{\mu\nu}$ with $F_{\mu\nu} = \partial_\mu A_\nu - \partial_\nu A_\mu$ results in the four-potential's equation of motion $$ \underbrace{\partial^\mu ...
2
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1answer
70 views

Finding the stabilizer group given a state

Consider general pure state $|\psi\rangle$ in some hilbert space $\mathcal{H}$ (which could be a tensor product of other Hilbert spaces) I would like to know whether there is a way to ...
2
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1answer
217 views

Lorentz group representations in QFT: what's the vector space?

In QFT, a representation of the Lorentz group is specified as follows: $$ U^\dagger(\Lambda)\phi(x) U(\Lambda)= R(\Lambda)~\phi(\Lambda^{-1}x) $$ Where $\Lambda$ is an element of the Lorentz group, ...
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1answer
47 views

Connection to spin 1/2 electron system?

In another Physics stack exchange thread here, Spin matrix for various spacetime fields I obtained the generator of rotations of the SO(2) rotation group for an infinitesimal rotation of 2D vectors. ...
3
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1answer
51 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
130 views

Why do we require the generators of $\mathrm{SU(N)}$ gauge theories to be $N \times N$ matrices?

I have often read that the generators for $\mathrm{SU(N)}$ gauge theories must be $N \times N$ matrices; see for instance these notes at the top of page 3: ...
7
votes
2answers
660 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
votes
1answer
79 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?
8
votes
3answers
206 views

What are particle multiplets in the Standard Model?

The particles of the standard model are often displayed in groupings known as multiplets. I know that this somehow relates to the underlying symmetries of the standard model, which can be viewed as ...
13
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2answers
421 views

Fundamental Representation of $SU(3)$ is a complex representation

Let in a $D(R)$ dimensional representation of $SU(N)$ the generators, $T^a$s follow the following commutation rule: $\qquad \qquad \qquad [T^a_R, T^b_R]=if^{abc}T^c_R$. Now ...
15
votes
2answers
393 views

Why are only linear representations of the Lorentz group considered as fundamental quantum fields?

As described in many Q&As around here, fundamental quantum fields are expressed as irreducible representations of the Lorentz group. This argument is entirely clear - we live in a ...
5
votes
3answers
149 views

Global vs. local gauge group in mathematical sense - physics examples?

Upon reading about the principal bundle picture of (quantum) field theory I encountered two different definitions of the gauge group: Local gauge group $G$. Corresponds to the fibers of the ...
3
votes
2answers
63 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
92 views

What is the Physical Significance of Tr(A) w.r.t. Matrix Representations in Group Theory

I've seen the post on mathoverflow.SE asking almost the same question, and I have indeed flipped through said answers, but most are in a more general context ie quantum mechanics and do not provide a ...
4
votes
3answers
147 views

Integrating the generator of the infinitesimal special conformal transformation

(c.f Di Francesco, Conformal Field Theory chapters 2 and 4). The expression for the full generator, $G_a$, of a transformation is $$iG_a \Phi = \frac{\delta x^{\mu}}{\delta \omega_{a}} \partial_{\mu} ...
3
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0answers
72 views

Is general covariance a symmetry?

Is general covariance a symmetry? If it is ,what is its symmetry group and corresponding generator?
4
votes
2answers
102 views

Algebra, commutators and test functions

I am trying to make sense out of the algebra of the generators of the conformal group and I am running into some issues regarding how to calculate commutators. For instance, for translations of a ...
4
votes
1answer
315 views

Different representations of the Lorentz algebra

I've found many definitions of Lorentz generators that satisfy the Lorentz algebra: ...
2
votes
3answers
193 views

Number of Parameters of Lorentz Group

We embed the rotation group, $SO(3)$ into the Lorentz group, $O(1,3)$ : $SO(3) \hookrightarrow O(1,3)$ and then determine the six generators of Lorentz group: $J_x, J_y, J_z, K_x, K_y, K_z$ from the ...
8
votes
2answers
131 views

Why gauge $SU(N)$ and not $SO(N)$?

When building models people typically gauge $SU(N)$ but rarely try to gauge $SO(N)$ (the only example I know about is $SO(10)$, but even that isn't quite $SO(10)$ but actually its double cover). At ...
2
votes
0answers
30 views

How does the choice of a particular vacuum in a field theory problem decide the number of Goldstone bosons?

How does the field expansion method (by this I mean expanding your fields about a chosen VEV and plugging into a given potential so that the masses of the fields are given by the coefficients in ...
1
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0answers
16 views

How does the choice of a basis decide how many Goldstone bosons there are under spontaneous symmetry breaking?

I have a question about how the basis you choose in a field theory problem semmingly decides how many Goldstone bosons you get after spontaneous symmetry breaking. For SU(2), if you choose the 3 Pauli ...
8
votes
1answer
140 views

Why $SU(3)$ and not $U(3)$?

Is there a good reason not to pick $U(3)$ as the colour group? Is there any experiment or intrinsic reason that would ruled out $U(3)$ as colour group instead?
6
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0answers
64 views

From $U(3)$ to $SU(3)\times U(1)$ Color symmetry. There is a “gluon” photon-like?

Suppose that $U(3)$ was the gauge group. We can decompose this as $U(3)=U(1)\times SU(3)$, which implies that in addition to the $SU(3)$ that has eight generators corresponding to eight gluons, there ...
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0answers
35 views

What is 'heterotic string compactification'?

I've read that some exceptional groups arises in the context of 'heterotic string compactification'. Could someone explain (to a person studying physics but who doesn't know string theory) what ...
1
vote
1answer
52 views

Irrep decomposition of direct product of stress tensors

I have stress tensors direct product of the form $T^{ab}(x)T^{cd}(y)$. I want to write this in terms of a tensor $I^{abcd}$ in the form. $T^{ab}(x)T^{cd}(y)= I^{abcd}$. This is like decomposing the ...
9
votes
2answers
271 views

What's a lepto-diquark?

This questions refers to Slansky's Group theory for unified model building, page 106 of chapter 7. He assigns the weight $(1)(01)$, which is stepwise projected from $E_6$ to $SU(2)\times SU(3)$, to a ...
2
votes
1answer
105 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 $$ ...