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.

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Using Ampere's Law without Right-Hand-Rule to derive an expression for the magnetic field around a current

I'm a little confused over the textbook example of applying Amperians to get the magnetic field around a current. I understand we take a loop which shares the rotational symmetry of the wire (a ...
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42 views

Convenient coordinate systems and symmetries

I recall in my basic electromagnetism and quantum mechanics lectures that choosing one coordinate system over another may greatly simplify the equations involved in solving a problem (think about ...
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Why are these two definitions for symmetries in the Lagrangian equivalent?

I have heard the following two definitions for a symmetry of the Lagrangian: If under a coordinate transformation the form of the Lagrangian remains unchanged then there is a symmetry. If $\delta ...
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33 views

Laplace's equation with spherical, cylindrical, and planar symmetry [on hold]

Find the general solution to Laplace's equation for spherical symmetry (everything can only depend on $r$, the radius), cylindrical symmetry (everything can only depend on $s$, the radius), and ...
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50 views

Nature favours symmetry?

In my chemistry class today, our professor was giving a lecture on symmetry of organic molecules. He said that " Nature favours symmetry as symmetry reduces the energy of the system". But as far as ...
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26 views

Explicit degeneracy in SPT phases

In the wikipedia article on symmetry protected topological phases the author states: If the boundary is a gapped degenerate state, the degeneracy may be caused by spontaneous symmetry breaking ...
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28 views

Can someone explain LO-TO Splitting?

LO-TO splitting occurs in an ionic (i.e. polar) solid such as GaAs or NaCl. What happens is that the degeneracy of the transverse optical (TO) and longitudinal optical (LO) phonons at $k=0$ is broken ...
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62 views

Rotational symmetry in integration

Can someone please tell me why $$4\int d^4x \, x^\mu x^\nu ~=~\int d^4x \, g^{\mu\nu}x^2 $$ by some rotational symmetry argument?
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93 views

Lorentz symmetry and Noether's theorem

I'm trying to overcome some misunderstanding that I have in Noether's theorem. There is formula in David Gross's Lectures on QFT for Noether's theorem: ...
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76 views

Particle number conservation equals $U(1)$-symmetry?

If have by now frequently read the above but never really understood it. It is said that the particle number conservations is related to the phase of the wave function, but how?
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71 views

Why three families of multipole moments?

There are three families of multipole moments: The electric multipole moments, the magnetic multipole moments and the toroidal multipole moments. Is there any reason why there are this three families ...
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64 views

Can you gauge a $U(1)_L$ symmetry?

I recently calculating the one loop correction for the propagator of a gauge boson, $\hspace{5cm}$ I assumed arbitrary left and right couplings, $ g _L $ and $ g _R $. I found that the one loop ...
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130 views

Spontaneous symmetry breaking and time-reversal symmetry

In most textbooks on field theory you read that "spontaneous symmetry breaking implies degeneracy of the ground state". (Like for example in ...
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2answers
91 views

Doubt regarding Ampere's Circuital Law

The Ampere's Circuital law states $$\oint B\cdot d\ell~=~ \mu_0I$$ We can use it to derive the magnetic field of an infinitely long current carrying wire easily. My question is, why does the wire ...
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94 views

Crystal Momentum in a Periodic Potential

I'm working through some basic theory on periodic potentials, and I would appreciate help in understanding the crystal momentum. Suppose we have a Bravais lattice with lattice vectors $\textbf{R}$. ...
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1answer
35 views

Deriving conserved currents by promoting parameter

I currently reading Tong's text on String Theory. In Chapter 4.1.1 he alludes to a technique to derive conserved currents Recall that we can usually derive conserved currents by promoting the ...
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54 views

Bondi-Metzner-Sachs (BMS) symmetry of asymptotically flat space-times

I started studying the BMS symmetry in connection with the paper: http://arxiv.org/abs/1312.2229 and there are a few strange things I noticed. First of all, from reading the original papers by Bondi, ...
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When is it useful to distinguish between vectors and pseudovectors in experimental & theoretical physics?

My understanding of pseudovectors vs vectors is pretty basic. Both transform in the same way under a rotation, but differently upon reflection. I might even be able to summarize that using an ...
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68 views

Symmetry and Algebra

I'm trying to get a more concrete idea how symmetry is understood in quantum theories, as broad as possible. Consider a infinitesimal transformation of states in quantum physics of the form: $$ ...
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123 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 ...
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33 views

Conserved current for a constant translation of a free massless scalar field

In Zinn-Justin's Quantum Field Theory and Critical Phenomena they start with an action for a free massless scalar field: $$S(\varphi) = \frac{1}{2}\int ...
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36 views

Examples of manifolds (not) being: flat, homogeneous and isotropic

I am looking for (at least) one example of the following manifolds: Flat, homogeneous and isotropic Curved, homogeneous and isotropic Flat, non-homogeneous and isotropic Flat, homogeneous and ...
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58 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 ...
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67 views

The role of SO(3) and SU(2) in quantum mechanics [duplicate]

When studying the irreducible representations of SO(3) one usually looks at the irreps of the infinitesimal rotations instead, i.e. the ones of so(3), the Lie Algebra of SO(3). The Irreps of so(3) can ...
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Why do we look at the representations of $SO(3)$ in QM?

I have a bit of an understanding issue why the representations of $SO(3)$ are so important for Quantum Mechanics. When looking at its Irreps one gets the Spin and Angular Momentum operators and thus ...
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42 views

Symmetric eigenfunctions?

So a symmetric eigenfunction / wavefunction is defined as: $$P_{ij} ψ_a (r_1,r_2,…,r_i,…,r_j,…,r_N )=ψ_a(r_1,r_2,…,r_i,…,r_j,…,r_N )$$ But for it to be symmetric does this have to be true for all $ij$ ...
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Quantum symmetries that are not classical symmetries

An anomaly is a symmetry of the classical action that fails to be a symmetry of the path integral, due to non-invariance of the path integral measure. Does it ever occur that the opposite thing ...
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69 views

Why is there a 'loophole' in Mermin Wagner for rotations?

I'm just starting out in my mathematics career by looking at some simple stuff on broken symmetries in statistical mechanics. Since 3D is 'hard' it would be very nice to look at 2D toy models of ...
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110 views

Could the universe have evolved WITHOUT the non-determinism of quantum mechanics? [closed]

(I'm going to make a few conjectures here - please answer the question in light of them as if they were true, even though of course they may be overly simplistic or wrong) Assuming that: the ...
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147 views

Do the standard cosmology models spontaneously break Lorentz symmetry?

In standard cosmology models (Friedmann equations which your favorite choice of DM and DE), there exists a frame in which the total momenta of any sufficiently large sphere, centered at any point in ...
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1answer
60 views

Time Energy symmetry in General Relativity (not asking about energy conservation)

In General Relativity is there a TE symmetry similar to CPT symmetry in the Standard Model ? It's pretty easy to understand that by flipping charge and parity you merely get a time reversed equivalent ...
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51 views

Quasicrystals - Projections from higher dimensional regular crystal lattices

Why are quasicrystals projections from higher dimensional regular crystal lattices? See for example wikipedia: »Mathematically, quasicrystals have been shown to be derivable from a general ...
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53 views

What's the corresponding symmetry of enstrophy conservation?

In fluid mechanics, especially 2D turbulence study, people talk about conservation of enstrophy. But I can't really understand enstrophy very well, and what's the corresponding symmetry of enstrophy ...
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94 views

I want to decompose a tensor product using Littlewood-Richardson rule, How do I find the component of this in each irreducible space?

Let me set up the notation I am using. $(abc,de)$ denotes the standard Young tableau where the first row is $abc$ and the second row is $de$. Each young tableau corresponds to the young symmetriser, ...
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113 views

Why is the inertia ellipsoid of a higher symmetry than the rigid body?

I was always puzzled by this fact. A uniform cube has a sphere-shaped inertia ellipsoid. The sphere has a higher symmetry then the cube. Is there any deep reason or implication behind it?
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82 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?
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41 views

Argument for symmetry of potential of a spherical capacitor filled with dielectric

A spherical capacitor with inner radius $r_1$ and outer radius $r_2$ is filled with dielectric material with permittivity $\epsilon=\epsilon_0+\epsilon_1\cos^2\theta $. $\theta$ is the polar angle. ...
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153 views

Noether's Theorem: Foundations

I'm wondering on what principles Noether's theorem foots. More precisely: The action is a functional on the fields only. Why do we consider then variations of the space time too? In principle careful ...
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1answer
134 views

Hamiltonian Noether's theorem in classical mechanics

How does one think about, and apply, Noether's theorem in the classical mechanical Hamiltonian formalism? From the Lagrangian perspective, Noether's theorem (in 1-D) states that the quantity ...
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2answers
69 views

Gravitational force due to asymmetric Earth shell

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shell_theorem According to above link the gravitational force inside a symmetrical shell due to itself is zero. Is it also true for an asymmetrical shell?
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Is there a physical interpretation to invariant random matrix ensembles?

Disclaimer. I am a graduate student in pure mathematics, so my knowledge of physics more advanced than basic 1st/2nd year undergraduate physics is very limited. I welcome corrections on any ...
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53 views

Pions as a superposition of quark states

in Isospin space there are two fundamental states called up and down quarks, which satisfy the following eigenvalue equations: $I u = (1/2) u$, $I d = (1/2) d$ and $I_3 u = (1/2) u, I_3 d = (-1/2) ...
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105 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 ...
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52 views

Local symmetry and General Relativity

First I want to consider an example of 1D motion. Lagrange equation: $$ \frac{d}{dt} \frac{\partial L}{\partial \dot x} - \frac{\partial L}{\partial x} = 0 $$ If we transform $ L \rightarrow L+a $ ...
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68 views

Reversing Noether's theorem [duplicate]

Noether's theorem states: any differentiable symmetry of the action of a physical system has a corresponding conservation law. Is this statement invertible? I mean, if a conservation law exists, this ...
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63 views

Why is the $SO(4)$ symmetry of the Hydrogen atom called dynamical?

Why dynamical? My previous quantum mechanics teacher could not answer it.
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21 views

Association of financial phenomena/indications with the conservation laws of Black Scholes equation

For a while I've been doing research on methods of obtaining conservation laws via the symmetries of differential equations (DEs). I'm presently doing research on identifying financial ...
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566 views

Why is the electric field of an infinite insulated plane of charge perpendicular to the plane?

I'm studying Gauss' Law, and I came across a section where we're supposed to find the electric field of various shapes (like an infinite line of charges, etc), and for an infinite plane with a uniform ...
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Kac-Moody algebras in 5 dimensional Kaluza-Klein theory

I am trying to make sense to the issue of how does the Kac-Moody algebra encode the symmetries of the non-truncated theory. Let's contextualize a little bit. Ok, so in the 5 dimensional Kaluza-Klein ...
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Charge inside a sphere

Suppose I have a sphere of radius $r$ with all the charge residing on the surface, distributed uniformly i.e. charge density $\sigma$ is constant. I want to find the electric field created by this ...