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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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
531 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
70 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". ...
2
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1answer
37 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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1answer
171 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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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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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 ...
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0answers
33 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
47 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 ...
5
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0answers
76 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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2answers
584 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
83 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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2answers
339 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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1answer
38 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 ...
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1answer
39 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 $$ H_r' = -\frac{p^4}{8m^3c^2}$$ ...
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46 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 ...
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2answers
130 views

Is internal symmetry the same as gauge symmetry?

This is more a terminology question. I have seen that some people differentiate between the two types of symmetry: internal symmetry and gauge symmetry (of a field theory). Is there a difference (in ...
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6answers
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Is the converse of Noether's first theorem true: Every conservation law has a symmetry?

Noether's (first) theorem states that any differentiable symmetry of the action of a physical system has a corresponding conservation law. Is the converse true: Any conservation law of a physical ...
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1answer
61 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, ...
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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?
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29 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 ...
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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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1answer
60 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 ...
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1answer
107 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 ...
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1answer
72 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 ...
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1answer
33 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 ...
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0answers
120 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 ...
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1answer
77 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\\ ...
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1answer
46 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
47 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 ...
5
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1answer
202 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 ...
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1answer
271 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 ...
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51 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 ...
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0answers
108 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 ...
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1answer
26 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 ...
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1answer
96 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 ...
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3answers
91 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 ...
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3answers
182 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 ...
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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 ...
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67 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 ...
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0answers
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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 $SU(2,2|4)$?
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7answers
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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 ...
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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) ...
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3answers
87 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 ...
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1answer
55 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 ...
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206 views

Changing vector basis in AdS$_3$

I have AdS${}_3$ given as a surface embedded in a 4 dimensional pseudo-Riemannian space $$x^2+y^2-u^2-y^2=-l^2$$ With metric: $$ds^2=dx^2+dy^2-du^2-dv^2$$ I have Killing vectors of that space ...
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What are spin and valley symmetries in graphene?

I have been assigned a presentation on a part of a paper (http://arxiv.org/abs/1303.6942). My task is to present on the spin and valley symmetries in graphene, and relate it back to the paper above. ...
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81 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 ...
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30 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?
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1answer
176 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 ...