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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How can we determine the Hypercharges in a GUT like SO(10)?

I understand how the assignment works for a symmetry breaking like $$SO(10) \rightarrow SU(3)_C \times SU(2)_L \times SU(2)_R \times U(1)_X$$ The Hypercharge can then easily computed by $$ ...
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1answer
19 views

Is the Singlet state for Helium with 2 electrons symmetric rather than anti-symmetric as is meant to be for fermions?

I'm looking at two-electron Helium atoms where one electron is in the ground state (due to if it were in other states, it's de-excitation would simply lead to the ionization of the electron). The ...
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0answers
14 views

Why performing axial symmetry, results in the same masses for pion and sigma mesons?

Under axial transformations, $\sigma$ and $\pi$ are rotated into each other: $\vec{\pi} \rightarrow \vec{\pi}+ \vec{\theta} \sigma $, $\sigma \rightarrow \sigma+ \vec{\theta}.\vec{\pi} $. In ...
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4answers
294 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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1answer
301 views

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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1answer
48 views

Why should Ward identities only be used with the effective action (as opposed to the generating functional for connected diagrams)?

My question is about the derivation of Ward identities. I will sketch it here in the case of an O(N) symmetric model and point out what it bothering me when I am done. I am being very sloppy with the ...
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2answers
930 views

Deriving Birkhoff's Theorem

I am trying to derive Birkhoff's theorem in GR as an exercise: a spherically symmetric gravitational field is static in the vacuum area. I managed to prove that $g_{00}$ is independent of t in the ...
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2answers
804 views

Can conservation of momentum be violated?

The law of the conservation of momentum has been established for hundred of years. Even in Quantum field theory every particle collision must be momentum-conserving if there is homogenity in space. ...
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1answer
81 views

Meaning of Time Reversal Symmetry

I was wondering if someone could give a simple explanation of what is meant by time reversal invariance. Is it analogous to spatial translational symmetry? If so, how? By spatial translational ...
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3answers
243 views

Why is Planck's constant the same for all particles?

This question came to me while reading Where does de Broglie wavelength $\lambda=h/p$ for massive particles come from? This question has a nice answer that explains that wave number has be ...
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2answers
57 views

Scalar and vector defined by transformation properties

In Classical Mechanics, we are defining scalars as objects that are invariant under any coordinate transformation. Vectors are defined as objects that can be transformed by some transformation matrix ...
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1answer
44 views

Local translations in curved spacetime

A global Poincare transformation on a scalar field induces $$\delta(a, \lambda)\phi(x) = [a^{\mu}+\lambda^{\mu\nu}x_{\nu}]\partial_{\mu}\phi(x). \tag{11.46}$$ In curved spacetime we replace $a^{\mu} ...
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384 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
55 views

Why do the $u$ and $d$ quark not have an associated quantum number?

All the other quarks ($c$,$s$,$b$ and $t$) have quantum numbers of charmness, strangeness, bottomness and topness that are conserved in strong interactions. This allows, among other things, flavour ...
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4answers
213 views

Is Parity really violated? (Even though neutrinos are massive)

The weak force couples only to left-chiral fields, which is expressed mathematically by a chiral projection operator $P_L = \frac{1-\gamma_5}{2}$ in the corresponding coupling terms in the Lagrangian. ...
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2answers
81 views

Why is $p_\phi$ conserved in a Schwarzschild orbit?

This arises from the question What is the relationship between $a$ and $m$, which I'm afraid I answered just by looking it up in Schutz's book. However Schutz (as he frequently does) glosses over ...
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351 views

Precise statement of Mermin–Wagner theorem

Roughly speaking, Mermin-Wagner theorem states that continuous symmetries cannot be spontaneously broken at finite temperature in systems with sufficiently short-range interactions in dimensions ...
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1answer
301 views

Vibrational anharmonic coupling and noise-induced spontaneous symmetry breaking in a hexagonal finite mechanical lattice

Happy holidays, everyone! The following is part question, part visual gallery, and part classical mechanics problem. Inspired by snow over the weekend I began simulating the vibrations of the ...
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4answers
413 views

Why aren't orbitals symmetric?

In an hydrogen-like atoms the orbitals are solutions to the Schrodinger equation suitable for the problem. They describe the regions where an electron can be found. So, why don't they have spherical ...
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5answers
4k views

What is the usefulness of the Wigner-Eckart theorem?

I am doing some self-study in between undergrad and grad school and I came across the beastly Wigner-Eckart theorem in Sakurai's Modern Quantum Mechanics. I was wondering if someone could tell me why ...
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0answers
128 views

Questions on the elementary excitations in the resonating-valence-bond(RVB) states?

It is known that the RVB states can support spin-charge separations and its elementary excitations are spinons and holons. But it seems that there are some different possibilities for the nature of ...
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42 views

Conserved quantities in the cart and pendulum problem

A problem on an assignment I'm doing deals with a cart of mass $m_1$ which can slide frictionlessly along the $x$-axis. Suspended from the cart by a string of length l is a mass $m_2$, which is ...
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31 views

Name for the transformation into an accelerated frame?

A transformation into a frame that looks at an experiment from a rotated perspective is called a rotation. A transformation into a frame that moves with a different constant velocity is called a ...
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52 views

Why is the electric field inside a solenoid tangential?

I have been looking at some derivations for the electric field inside a solenoid. I know how to find it, but I don't get the symmetry argument used. This is often of the form: Since if we choose ...
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0answers
62 views

Antimatter universe and Noether's theorem

I am studying Feynman's "symmetry in physical laws", where he talks about conservation laws for corresponding symmetries. (I know this is Noether's theorem, I am studying this from David Tong's ...
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1answer
79 views

Symmetries of the action of the free classical Klein-Gordon field

I've read that the action for the free classical Klein-Gordon field $$S = \int \mathrm{d}^4x~ \mathcal{L} = \frac{1}{2} \int \mathrm{d}x^4 \left(\partial_\mu \phi(x) \, \partial^\mu \phi(x) - ...
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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 ...
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1answer
208 views

Symmetries of a Uniform Magnetic Field

Simple question. A system with a uniform electric field everywhere in space has translational invariance in the directions perpendicular to the electric field but no translational invariance parallel ...
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36 views

Landau theory of phase transation

In his article http://www.ujp.bitp.kiev.ua/files/journals/53/si/53SI08p.pdf, Landau defines probability distribution $\rho$ which is related to symmetry of crystal. If crystal has certain symmetry ...
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1answer
174 views

Does the projected spin state of the $d+id$ mean-field Hamiltonian on a triangular lattice has time-reversal(TR) symmetry?

Consider the following $d+id$ mean-field Hamiltonian for a spin-1/2 model on a triangular lattice $$H=\sum_{<ij>}(\psi_i^\dagger\chi_{ij}\psi_j+H.c.)$$, with $\chi_{ij}=\begin{pmatrix} 0 & ...
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2answers
130 views

Spontaneous Symmetry Breaking - struggling with physics based understanding?

Although I am a mathematician by nature, I'm writing an essay in my third year of my undergraduate on Spontaneous Symmetry Breaking in Physics, and as such I've become a little confused by how the ...
2
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2answers
296 views

Two puzzles on the Projective Symmetry Group(PSG)?

Recently I'm studying PSG and I felt very puzzled about two statements appeared in Wen's paper. To present the questions clearly, imagine that we use the Shwinger-fermion ...
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2answers
220 views

What is the symmetry associated with the local particle number conservation law for fluid?

According to Noether's theorem, every continuous symmetry (of the action) yields a conservation law. In fluid, there is a local particle number conservation law, which is ...
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87 views

Symmetry argument for a toroid?

When using Ampere's law for a toroid (in the toroid and around a circular path) please can someone explain the symmetry argument (or an alternative argument) which allows us to assume the field is ...
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2answers
34 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 ...
2
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1answer
44 views

Parity transformation is proper orthochronous?

In 3+1 dimensional spacetime the parity transformation is $$P^\mu_{\;\,\nu}=\begin{pmatrix}+1&&&\\&-1&&\\&&-1&\\&&&-1\end{pmatrix}.$$ This is ...
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1answer
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Parameterization of an arbitrary element of $U(2)_L \times U(2)_R$ (Chiral symmetry with two quarks)

When you write down the Lagrangian for two quarks : \begin{equation} \mathcal{L}_\text{QCD}^0 = -\frac{1}{4} G_{\mu\nu}^a G^{a\mu\nu}+ \bar\Psi i \gamma^\mu D_\mu \Psi \end{equation} you find an ...
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3answers
517 views

The Asymmetry between Real and Imaginary in the three Pauli Spin Matrices

The Pauli spin matrices $$ \sigma_1 ~=~ (\begin{smallmatrix} 0 & 1 \\ 1 & 0 \end{smallmatrix}), \qquad\qquad \sigma_2 ~=~ (\begin{smallmatrix} 0 & -i \\ i & 0 ...
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1answer
62 views

How do states in Hilbert Space act like irreducible representations?

I am reading Georgi's book on group theory and I came across this sentence..." Hilbert space of any parity invariant system can be decomposed into states that behave like irreducible representations". ...
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34 views

Is there a sensible fully-discretized Hamilton's principle?

In computational physics it is common to formulate Hamilton's principle in a semi-discrete way, where space is continuous but time is discrete: in other words the Lagrangian $$L(q, \dot q, t): ...
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150 views

Symmetries in QM and QFT — operator transformation laws

In quantum mechanics, we implement transformations by operators $U$ that map the state $|\psi\rangle$ to the state $U|\psi\rangle$. Alternatively, we could transfer the action of $U$ onto our ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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0answers
31 views

Any importance of $i$ before the time reversal operator for spin-1/2 system?

I've read about that: For systems with spin 1/2, time-reversal symmetry has the operator $\mathcal{T}=i\sigma_y K$. I wonder if the imaginary unit $i$ has any importance. Without $i$, ...
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1answer
43 views

Does invariance under infinite small transformation imply invariance to the finite one?

Let's say that I have finite chiral transform and I would like to show invariance of Dirac's Lagrangian when $m=0$ under it. The chiral transform is defined as: $$\psi(x) \rightarrow \psi'(x) =e^{i ...
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68 views

Intuition for S-duality

first of all, I need to confess my ignorance with respect to any physics since I'm a mathematician. I'm interested in the physical intuition of the Langlands program, therefore I need to understand ...
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577 views

How are anyons possible?

If $|ψ\rangle$ is the state of a system of two indistinguishable particles, then we have an exchange operator $P$ which switches the states of the two particles. Since the two particles are ...
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1answer
59 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. ...
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334 views

Does Noether's theorem also give rise to quantities conserved over space?

Noether's theorem gives rise to quantities that are conserved over time. But does it also give rise to quantities that are conserved over space?
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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 ...