A vector space $\mathfrak{g}$ over some field $F$ and kitted with a bilinear, antisymmetric and Jacobi-identity-fulfilling product ("Lie Bracket" or "commutator"). In physics, most often arises as the Lie algebra (tangent space to the identity) of a Lie group; in gauge theories, basis vectors of the ...

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24
votes
3answers
956 views

Idea of Covering Group

$SU(2)$ is the covering group of $SO(3)$. What does it mean and does it have a physical consequence? I heard that this fact is related to the description of bosons and fermions. But how does it ...
15
votes
1answer
2k views

Mathematically, what is color charge?

A similar question was asked here, but the answer didn't address the following, at least not in a way that I could understand. Electric charge is simple - it's just a real scalar quantity. Ignoring ...
5
votes
2answers
575 views

Lie Groups and group extensions?

Is $U(1)$ x $SU(2)$ x $SU(3)$ a vector space over a field? I saw an article here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Group_extension that seemed to me that a similar concept to a field extension was ...
9
votes
2answers
713 views

Lie bracket for Lie algebra of $SO(n,m)$

How does one show that the bracket of elements in the Lie algebra of $SO(n,m)$ is given by $$[J_{ab},J_{cd}] ~=~ i(\eta_{ad} J_{bc} + \eta_{bc} J_{ad} - \eta_{ac} J_{bd} - \eta_{bd}J_{ac}),$$ ...
5
votes
2answers
671 views

What is the significance of Lie groups $SO(3)$ and $SU(2)$ to particle physics?

I was hoping someone could give an overview as to how the Lie groups $SO(3)$ and $SU(2)$ and their representations can be applied to describe particle physics? The application of Lie groups and their ...
4
votes
1answer
688 views

What physical significance has the Heisenberg Group?

I read that the canonical commutation relation between momentum and position can be seen as the Lie Algebra of the Heisenberg group. While I get why the commutation relations of momentum and momentum, ...
8
votes
2answers
2k 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
votes
2answers
787 views

What's the relationship between $SL(2,\mathbb{C})$, $SU(2)\times SU(2)$ and $SO(1,3)$?

I'm a beginner of QFT. Ref. 1 states that [...] The Lorentz group $SO(1,3)$ is then essentially $SU(2)\times SU(2)$. But how is it possible, because $SU(2)\times SU(2)$ is a compact Lie group ...
5
votes
1answer
556 views

Why is the value of spin +/- 1/2?

I understand how spin is defined in analogy with orbital angular momentum. But why must electron spin have magnetic quantum numbers $m_s=\pm \frac{1}{2}$ ? Sure, it has to have two values in ...
11
votes
2answers
553 views

$\mathrm{SU(3)}$ decomposition of $\mathbf{3} \otimes \mathbf{\bar{3}} = \mathbf{8} \oplus \mathbf{1}$?

I have a question about the tensor decomposition of $\mathrm{SU(3)}$. According to Georgi (page 142 and 143), a tensor $T^i{}_j$ decomposes as: \begin{equation} \mathbf{3} \otimes \mathbf{\bar{3}} = ...
3
votes
1answer
191 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
759 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
273 views

Representations of Lie algebras in physics

Why is an invariant vector subspace sometimes called a representation? For example in Lie algebras, say su(3), the subspace characterized by the highest weight (1,0) is an irreducible representation ...
0
votes
1answer
70 views

Why is orbital angular momentum quantized according to $I=\frac h{2 \pi} \sqrt{l(l+1)}$?

I simply have no idea how this result is found $$I=\frac h{2 \pi} \sqrt{l(l+1)}.$$ The result seems to just be dumped in textbooks rather than explained. I can get the result that ...
15
votes
2answers
1k views

Gauge fields — why are they traceless hermitian?

A gauge field is introduced in the theory to preserve local gauge invariance. And this field (matrix) is expanded in terms of the generators, which is possible because the gauge field is traceless ...
14
votes
2answers
722 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 ...
13
votes
3answers
1k views

Why is the Symmetry Group for the Electroweak force $SU(2) \times U(1)$ and not $U(2)$?

Let me first say that I'm a layman who's trying to understand group theory and gauge theory, so excuse me if my question doesn't make sense. Before symmetry breaking, the Electroweak force has 4 ...
12
votes
2answers
262 views

When are there enough Casimirs?

I know that a Casimir for a Lie algebra $\mathfrak{g}$ is a central element of the universal enveloping algebra. For example in $\mathfrak{so}(3)$ the generators are the angular momentum operators ...
5
votes
1answer
823 views

Introduction to Physical Content from Adjoint Representations

In particle Physics it's usual to write the physical content of a Theory in adjoint representations of the Gauge group. For example: $24\rightarrow (8,1)_0\oplus (1,3)_0\oplus (1,1)_0\oplus ...
5
votes
2answers
161 views

Motivating Complexification of Lie Algebras?

What is the motivation for complexifying a Lie algebra? In quantum mechanical angular momentum the commutation relations $$[J_x,J_y]=iJ_z, \quad [J_y,J_z] = iJ_x,\quad [J_z,J_x] = iJ_y$$ become, on ...
1
vote
1answer
118 views

What is the physical importance of the commutation relations of angular momentum?

What is the physical meaning of these commutation relations: $$[L_{z},L_{\pm}]=\pm\hbar L_{\pm}\tag{1}$$ and $$[L_{+},L_{-}]=2\hbar L_{z} ~?\tag{2}$$
7
votes
2answers
2k views

Killing vector fields

I am facing some problems in understanding what is the importance of a Killing vector field? I will be grateful if anybody provides an answer, or, refer me to some review or books.
6
votes
1answer
190 views

Question about the Noether charge algebra

I'm reading these notes - page 8 and 9 - and I'm a bit confused. If we consider a field $\phi$ (which can be either bosonic or fermionic) transforming as: \begin{equation} \phi(x) \rightarrow \phi(x) ...
5
votes
2answers
492 views

Equivalent Rotation using Baker-Campbell-Hausdorff relation

Is there a way in which one can use the BCH relation to find the equivalent angle and the axis for two rotations? I am aware that one can do it in a precise way using Euler Angles but I was wondering ...
2
votes
0answers
91 views

How to get result $3 \otimes 3 = 6 \oplus \bar{3}$ for $SU(3)$ irreducible representations?

Let's have $SU(3)$ irreducible representations $3, \bar{3}$. How to get result that $$ 3\otimes 3 =6 \oplus \bar{3}~? $$ I'm interested in $\bar{3}$ part. It's clear that for $3 \otimes 3$ we can use ...
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 ...
0
votes
1answer
69 views

Eigenvalues of Angular Momentum in Quantum Mechanics

The eigenvalue equation of the $L^2$ operator is given by $$L^2f_l^m = \hbar ^2l(l+1)f_l^m$$ Side: So a determinate state for some observable $Q$ is a state where every measurement of $Q$ returns ...
8
votes
1answer
805 views

Generators of Poincare Groups

How can I determine the generators of the Poincare Group, $P(1,3)$ explicitly? Here $P(1,3)$ means a matrix Lie group.
14
votes
2answers
799 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. ...
11
votes
1answer
262 views

Lie group of Schrodinger Wave equation

In Ballentine's book on quantum mechanics (in 3rd chapter), he introduces the symmetry transformation of Galilean group associated with Schrodinger equation. Now the Galilean group as such has 10 ...
6
votes
1answer
463 views

Different representations of the Lorentz algebra

I've found many definitions of Lorentz generators that satisfy the Lorentz algebra: ...
7
votes
2answers
597 views

Lie group Homomorphism $SU(2) \to SO(3)$

The Lie algebra of $ \mathfrak{so(3)} $ and $ \mathfrak{su(2)} $ are respectively $$ [L_i,L_j] = i\epsilon_{ij}^{\;\;k}L_k $$ $$ [\frac{\sigma_i}{2},\frac{\sigma_j}{2}] = ...
9
votes
1answer
416 views

Why does a transformation to a rotating reference frame NOT break temporal scale invariance?

Naively, I thought that transforming a scale invariant equation (such as the Navier-Stokes equations for example) to a rotating reference frame (for example the rotating earth) would break the ...
6
votes
2answers
256 views

Galilean, SE(3), Poincare groups - Central Extension

After having learnt that the Galilean (with its central extension) with an unitary operator $$ U = \sum_{i=1}^3\Big(\delta\theta_iL_i + \delta x_iP_i + \delta\lambda_iG_i +dtH\Big) + ...
5
votes
1answer
671 views

Commutator of Lorentz boost generators : visual interpretation

I have always struggled to visualize the correctness of the commutation relation for the generators of the boost in the Lorentz group. We have $$[K_i,K_j] = i \epsilon_{ijk} L_k$$ I fail to picture ...
3
votes
1answer
66 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) = ...
2
votes
1answer
77 views

How does the Lorentz group act on a 4-vector in the spinor-helicity formalism $p_{\alpha\dot{\alpha}}$?

Given a 4-vector $p^\mu$ the Lorentz group acts on it in the vector representation: $$ \tag{1} p^\mu \longrightarrow (J_V[\Lambda])^\mu_{\,\,\nu} p^\nu\equiv \Lambda^\mu_{\,\,\nu} p^\nu. $$ However, I ...
4
votes
1answer
142 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
136 views

Conceptual question about field transformation

(c.f Conformal Field Theory by Di Francesco et al, p39) From another source, I understand the mathematical derivation that leads to eqn (2.126) in Di Francesco et al, however conceptually I do not ...
4
votes
1answer
115 views

Representations and transformations under an $SU(n)$ Lie groups?

I think my problem is that I misunderstand what "transforms under" really means. Let's take $SU(3)$, for the $\mathbf{3}$ with Dynkin indices $(1,0)$, a state transforms like : $ψ→gψ$. For the ...
1
vote
0answers
52 views

Spin matrix for various spacetime fields

Let $V^{\mu}$ be a vector field defined in a Minkowski spacetime and suppose it transforms under a Lorentz transformation $V'^{\mu} = \Lambda^{\mu}_{\,\,\,\nu}V^{\nu}$. We can write this like ...
0
votes
0answers
40 views

Why are the azimuthal quantum number $\ell$ and magnetic quantum number $m$ integers? [duplicate]

Why are the azimuthal quantum number $\ell$ and magnetic quantum number $m$ integers?
6
votes
2answers
1k views

Infinitesimal Lorentz transformation is antisymmetric

The Minkowski metric transforms under Lorentz transformations as \begin{align*}\eta_{\rho\sigma} = \eta_{\mu\nu}\Lambda^\mu_{\ \ \ \rho} \Lambda^\nu_{\ \ \ \sigma} \end{align*} I want to show that ...
5
votes
0answers
163 views

explicit matrix elements for a representation decomposed into subgroup by branching rules

I'm looking for a way to construct a representation for a simple Lie group such that one particular subgroup is manifest. I learned the branching rules from Cahn, Georgi and Slansky, but I'm still not ...
5
votes
2answers
240 views

Problem counting spin states

I can't figure out how many different spin states I can create with a four-electron system. I think I can create a spin-zero state, three spin-one states, and five spin-two states. That gives me nine ...
3
votes
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
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
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, $U(1)$)?
2
votes
1answer
56 views

How to use Clebsch-Gordan coefficients for 3 particles?

I have a Hamiltonian for 3 particles of spin 1 that I boiled down to: \begin{equation} k(\textbf{S}^2+\cdots), \end{equation} where: \begin{equation} \textbf{S}=\textbf{S}_1+\textbf{S}_2+\textbf{S}_3. ...
1
vote
1answer
72 views

Representations of subalgebra in the super virasoro algebra

In the Virasoro algebra, which is generated by $L_n$, one has the obvious subalgebra spanned by $L_{-1}$ ,$L_{1}$ and $L_{0}$ which is isomorphic to the Lie algebra $\mathfrak{sl}(2,\mathbb{R})$. The ...