3
votes
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 ...
9
votes
1answer
257 views

Why does the eightfold way work?

Last year I attended an introductory particle physics course, in which the Eigthfold Way for classifying hadrons has been discussed. The main idea consists in grouping hadrons in multiplets (i.e ...
21
votes
4answers
2k views

Could the Periodic Table have been done using group theory?

These three questions are phrased as alternative-history questions, but my real intent is to understand better how well different modeling approaches fit the phenomena they are used to describe; see 1 ...