We say that something is symmetric if there is some transformation we can perform on that object that leaves some property unchanged. The set of symmetry transformations of an object form a group, and the name of this group is used as the name of the symmetry of the object.

learn more… | top users | synonyms

5
votes
1answer
27 views

Why is a hexagon such a stable shape for materials?

A hexagonal lattice is famously the shape of graphene, the source of the 2010 Nobel prize. The shape also shows up in beehives and in the basalt columns of Giant's Causeway in County Antrim. ...
0
votes
1answer
25 views

How to define conserved charges in Euclidean field theory?

In a field theory with signature (1,d), conserved charges are obtained by integrating the time component of a conserved current over a spatial region. What are the corresponding equations and ...
1
vote
1answer
27 views

Conserved current in a complex relativistic scalar field

For my field theory class I have the following Lagrangian density $$\mathscr{L}=\frac{1}{2}\eta^{\mu\nu}\partial_\mu\phi^*\partial_\nu\phi-\frac{1}{2}m^2\phi^*\phi$$ Where $\eta^{\mu\nu}$ is the ...
0
votes
1answer
21 views

Fine Structure Correction

The fine structure correction is composed of the relativistic correction and spin-orbit coupling. The lowest-order relativistic correction to the Hamiltonian is $$ H_r' = -\frac{p^4}{8m^3c^2}$$ ...
0
votes
0answers
36 views

Laplace's demon and spontaneous symmetry breaking

One interpretation of Quantum mechanics is the hidden variable theory. This suggests that if we were to have a complete knowledge of the system at one time then the future states of the system are ...
2
votes
1answer
764 views

Can conservation of momentum be violated?

The law of the conservation of momentum was accepted for year-hundreds. Even in Quantum field theory every particle collision must be momentum-conserving if there is homogenity in space. Can this ...
1
vote
1answer
52 views

Given potentials, how does one find conserved quantities using Noether's theorem?

I've been asked to find the conserved quantities of the following 3D potentials: $U(\vec{r}) = U(x^2)$, $U(\vec{r}) = U(x^2 + y^2)$ and $U(\vec{r}) = U(x^2 + y^2 + z^2)$. For the first one, ...
0
votes
0answers
31 views

Does the similarity of gamma matrices correspond to a conserved quantity?

Gamma matrices have a similarity property, $\gamma^\mu\to S\gamma^\mu S^{-1}$ is a good transformation. Does this transformation correspond to a symmetry of the QED Lagrangian?
0
votes
0answers
17 views

normal degeneracy and the “span” of an irreducible representation

In Tinkham's "Group Theory and Quantum Mechanics", Tinkham defines normal degeneracy so that the span of the action of the Hamiltonian's symmetry group on any energy eigenstate yields all possible ...
1
vote
1answer
41 views

Why Levi-Civita term signal the breaking of parity and time reversal?

For example, referring to Zee's QFT book, in Chern-Simons matter theory, after writing a term $$\gamma {\varepsilon ^{\mu \nu \lambda }}{a_\mu }{\partial _\nu}{a_\lambda }$$ he said The ...
2
votes
1answer
60 views

Does an on-shell symmetry necessarily change the Lagrangian by a total derivative?

This is a follow-up question to: Does a symmetry necessarily leave the action invariant? Qmechanic writes here: Here the word off-shell means that the Lagrangian eqs. of motion are not assumed to ...
3
votes
10answers
1k views

Why does it take a projectile as long to get to its apex as it does to hit the ground?

I was once asked the following question by a student I was tutoring; and I was stumped by it: When one throws a stone why does it take the same amount of time for a stone to rise to its peak and then ...
4
votes
1answer
93 views

Does a symmetry necessarily leave the action invariant?

A symmetry maps a configuration with stationary action to another configuration with stationary action. However, does it necessarily preserve the value of the action exactly? It seems that it should ...
2
votes
1answer
29 views

How to show OPE coefficients are symmetric in three indices ?

May it is very trivial, but I am stuck here, given (I have suppressed the conjugate coordinates) $$ \phi_i(x) \phi_j(y) \sim \sum_{k} c_{ijk} (x-y)^{h_k - h_i - h_j} \phi_k(y) $$ $$ \langle ...
1
vote
0answers
70 views

Derivation of Rashba spin-orbit coupling in tight-binding model

Rashba spin-orbit coupling Hamiltonian in free space can be written as: $H_{\text{so}}=\int d^3r \Psi^{\dagger}(\mathbf{r}) \gamma (p_{x}\sigma _{y}-p_{y}\sigma _{x})\Psi(\mathbf{r})$. I expand ...
0
votes
1answer
30 views

Infinitesimal transformations and Poisson brackets [duplicate]

I want to understand how bracket operations in general are related to symmetry and infinitesimal transformations (in hindsight of quantumfieldtheory), so I calculated an example with a particle that ...
3
votes
1answer
46 views

How to quantify translational symmetry?

I'm trying to study phase transitions and I'm trying to find a way to classify regions of space based on their "crystallinity". I'm working with 3D coordinates, but I'll present the problem in 2D ...
1
vote
1answer
56 views

Problem with determining number of goldstone bosons

Consider a theory $$\mathcal{L}=(\partial_\mu\Phi^\dagger)(\partial^\mu\Phi)-\mu^2(\Phi^\dagger\Phi)-\lambda(\Phi^\dagger\Phi)^2$$ where $\Phi=\begin{pmatrix}\phi_1+i\phi_2\\ ...
0
votes
1answer
61 views

What are the unitary operators for various transformation?

Transformations, at least in lagrangian-symmetries context, are usualy described as uintary operators. I dont understand what are these operators exactly. For example, let's look at the Lorentz ...
8
votes
1answer
234 views

Noether currents in QFT

I am trying to organize my knowledge of Noether's theorem in QFT. There are several questions I would like to have an answer to. In classical field theory, Noether's theorem states that for each ...
3
votes
0answers
40 views

Conserved charge of a conformal transformation

From Becker, Becker and Schwarz String Theory and M-Theory: For the infinitesimal conformal transformation $$\tag{3.25}\delta z=\varepsilon(z)\quad\text{and}\quad \delta\bar ...
5
votes
1answer
159 views

Noether's Theorem: Lie algebra, Lie groups

I've had a brief look through similar threads on this topic to see if my question has already been answered, but I didn't find quite what I was looking for, perhaps it is because I'm finding it hard ...
0
votes
1answer
20 views

Silicon: conduction band minima

Why do the energetic minima of the silicon conduction band lie not in a high-symmetry point like a $X$-point, but somewhere in $\Delta$-direction between points $\Gamma$ and $X$? What is the physical ...
1
vote
0answers
96 views

How can gauge invariance be unphysical?

Gauge symmetry is said to be "unphysical" because the transformations - unlike changes of reference frame - do not correspond to real physical operations. But the consequences of gauge symmetries are ...
2
votes
1answer
76 views

Schrodinger equation, commutative operators, and Symmetry

When solving Schrodinger's equation in 3D with a spherical laplacian you reach a point at which you introduce a separation constant and can see that the same eigenvalue satisfies the radial and ...
0
votes
1answer
42 views

Relation between gauge symmetry and mass difference

Usually (like in Georgi's Lie Algebra book) people argue the reason why Gellmann $SU(3)$ flavor symmetry (u,d,s) can't extend to $SU(4)$ (u,d,c,s) or higher flavour symmetry is the their mass ...
2
votes
0answers
59 views

What is the symmetry group of this Hamiltonian?

Consider a Hamiltonian $$\hat H=-\partial_x^2-\partial_y^2+(x-y)Q,$$ where $x,y\in[0,a]$ (homogeneous Dirichlet boundary conditions assumed), and $Q$ is some real parameter. When $Q=0$, the ...
2
votes
0answers
50 views

What is the difference between the groups $PSU(N)$ and $SU(N)$? [closed]

What is the difference between the groups $PSU(N)$ and $SU(N)$? For example how is $PSU(2,2|4)$ different than $SU(2,2|4)$?
0
votes
0answers
65 views

Does point group symmetry also act within “spin space” for a lattice spin system?

As an example, let's consider a quantum spin system on a 2D square lattice. The lattice point group symmetries include $C_4$ rotation, parities, etc.... And let's take $C_2$ symmetry (2-fold rotation) ...
0
votes
3answers
71 views

$SO(3)$, $SU(2)$ and symmetries in quantum mechanics [duplicate]

A rotation in the vector space $\mathbb{R}^3$ is represented by the known 3x3-matrices. But at this point I'm really confused how to get from there to Quantum Mechanics. The group of ...
8
votes
7answers
343 views

What does the statement “the laws of physics are invariant” mean?

In the first paragraph of Wikipedia's article on special relativity, it states one of the assumptions of special relativity is the laws of physics are invariant (i.e., identical) in all inertial ...
0
votes
1answer
35 views

Why does Weyl invariance imply a traceless energy-momentum tensor?

I've begun to self-study String Theory from Polchinski and Becker, Becker and Schwarz. I don't see why the fact that the Polyakov action is invariant under Weyl transformations is related to the ...
4
votes
2answers
68 views

Definition of Duality (opposed to Symmetry)

I'm learning basic string theory right now and we came across T-duality which was presented as a symmetry of the formula for the mass of a string in the context of compactification. There was a remark ...
0
votes
3answers
64 views

Ideal, isotropic fluid and stress tensor

An ideal fluid is the one which cannot support any shearing stress. It also doesn't have viscosity. My question is what does it mean by a fluid to be isotropic? Is an ideal fluid necessarily isotropic ...
3
votes
3answers
138 views

How to understand this symmetry in the wavefunctions of a diatomic molecule?

In Wikipedia (and elsewhere), a particular symmetry of the quantum system of a diatomic molecule is mentioned: symmetry under reflection along a plane containing the internuclear axis. The ...
0
votes
0answers
29 views

Can any global symmetry be promoted to the local symmetry? [duplicate]

Can any global symmetry be promoted to the local symmetry? Does there exist counterexample?
9
votes
1answer
146 views

What exactly do we mean by symmetry in physics?

I'm referring here to invariance of the Lagrangian under Lorentz transformations. There are two possibilities: Physics does not depend on the way we describe it (passive symmetry). We can choose ...
3
votes
2answers
126 views

Global symmetry and particle multiplets

In chapter 20, of Peskin and Schroeder's quantum field theory book, they start with a comment that a global symmetry that is manifest lead to particle multiplets with restricted interactions. Can ...
1
vote
1answer
64 views

$T$-invariant Hamiltonians

If $T$ is time-reversal transformation $t\mapsto -t$, Why do $T$-invariant Bloch Hamiltonians obey $$H(-k) = T H(k) T^{-1}$$ and not $$H(k) = T H(k) T^{-1}$$ Somehow I understand the word "invariant" ...
1
vote
2answers
105 views

How can I prove that $\langle\Omega\vert \phi(x) \vert\Omega\rangle \langle\Omega\vert\phi(y)\vert\Omega\rangle=0$ for a scalar field?

From Peskin-Schroeder, p.212: The term $$ \langle \Omega | \phi(x) | \Omega \rangle \langle \Omega |\phi(y) | \Omega \rangle$$ is usually zero by symmetry; for higher-spin fields, it is zero ...
1
vote
1answer
42 views

What conserved quantities does a one-dimensional non-symmetric lattice have?

When I asked what leads to degeneracy of eigenstates of free particle, the answer was parity. But it appears that even if we consider a lattice with non-symmetric cell, so the potential looks as shown ...
2
votes
1answer
73 views

How to diagonalise the Lagrangian mass term with SU(4) symmetry and self-dual tensors

I should write the mass term of the Lagrangian with global SO(4) symmetry in tensor representation with anti-symmetric tensors and then diagonalise this term with defining a new set of tensors ...
3
votes
1answer
107 views

Does time invariance conclude conservation of energy? [closed]

I find it hard to understand that time-translation invariance necessarily implies conservation of energy. As I understand it, Noether's theorem says that there is an energy conservation because the ...
2
votes
0answers
40 views

Weaker Formulations of Bulk-boundary Correspondence for Interacting Systems

From this post, it seems that bulk-boundary correspondence does not hold in general for interacting systems. What is meant by bulk-boundary correspondence there appears to be the existence of robust ...
1
vote
1answer
34 views

Finding a basis for minimal representation of a wavefunction (extracting symmetries)

I asked something like this on Math StackExchange, but now that I think about it, this probably belongs better over here. I want to find all linear operators (non necessarily hermitian) $\{\hat{A}\}$ ...
3
votes
0answers
82 views

Does Noether's theorem apply to entropy?

Entropy appears to have a translation symmetry - adding some constant value to it doesn't appear to my fairly rudimentary understanding of physics alter the actual physics. Is this correct? Now ...
5
votes
1answer
152 views

Why do we need spontaneous symmetry breaking in Lagrangian formalism?

I have always struggled with the concept of spontaneous symmetry breaking. It seems to me that many others don't find it very intuitive as well, but that could be just me having difficulties with the ...
5
votes
1answer
147 views

Why are large scale structures isotropic in the Ising model?

I have at least a qualitative understanding of why the critical state of the Ising model is scale invariant, by arguments to do with renormalisation, which I understand only very roughly. However, in ...
6
votes
0answers
133 views

If a symmetry operator S in a QFT annihilates the vacuum, why does S preserve the space of 1-particle states?

In the paper "Supersymmetry and Morse Theory", on the third page (p. 663 in the journal version), Witten says: "Now in any quantum field theory if a symmetry operator (an operator which commutes ...
1
vote
0answers
10 views

Explain materials with 4 fold symmetry having same reflectance when shone with LCP and RCP

This is my first post here. I am currently reading "Optical planar chiral metamaterial designs for strong circular dichroism and polarization rotation" by Do-Hoon Kwon, Pingjuan L. Werner, and ...