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

9
votes
3answers
538 views

What is the exact meaning of homogeneity in cosmology?

I understand that, in general, homogeneity is the physical attribute of being uniform in composition (" of the same form at every point"), but I'm slightly confused when it is used in cosmology as ...
2
votes
1answer
102 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 (...
6
votes
2answers
1k views

Invariance, covariance and symmetry

Though often heard, often read, often felt being overused, I wonder what are the precise definitions of invariance and covariance. Could you please give me an example from quantum field theory? Thanks!...
2
votes
0answers
39 views

Kitaev chaing, time reversel symmetry, particle hole symmetry

I was wondering if the Kitaev chain has time reversal symmetry. I think it probably doesn't because by staking Kitaev chains it is possible to create a so called Chern insulator with propagating ...
6
votes
2answers
125 views

Conservation Laws and Symmetry

The toughest of topics in physics, like Quantum Mechanics, Relativity, String theory, can be explained in layman words and many have done so. Though there is no substitute to the understanding a ...
0
votes
1answer
48 views

Inversion symmetry points of graphene

I have question about graphene. When you have the graphene lattice two types of atoms can be distinguished, let's call them type A and B.You can draw a unit cell that has the shape of a parallelogram....
1
vote
1answer
49 views

What are the assumptions behind the Lagrangian derivation of energy?

What are the assumptions behind the Lagrangian derivation of energy? I understand that we're searching for a function $L$ that describes a set of physics so that solving the energy minimization ...
1
vote
1answer
54 views

Crossing Symmetry in Bhabha scattering and Moller scattering

Given the amplitude for a particular process, it may be possible to obtain the amplitude for another similar process by a so called crossing symmetry. I know there is a $s \leftrightarrow u$ crossing ...
0
votes
0answers
27 views

Lorentz invariance & Noether theorem of classical ED

I want to check invariance of the action under Lorentz boosts for classical electrodynamics. The action is $$S = \int \mbox{d}^4x F_{\alpha \beta} F^{\alpha \beta} $$ I assumed that the fields ...
4
votes
4answers
383 views

Electric field on the surface of a charged sphere

We know that the electric field for a point charge is $$ E = \frac{KQ}{R^2}. $$ If $R$, i.e. distance from the electric field producer to the point where we want to find the electric field becomes ...
0
votes
0answers
17 views

Effect symmetry on points in momentum space

I have to study some material for a condensed matter physics course and cam across a passage that I don't understand. "In momentum space time reversal symmetry and particle hole symmetry only have ...
0
votes
0answers
23 views

effect of inversion symmetry on the bandstructure

I have a very general question, but I hope that someone can answer it. Can someone describe what the effect of inversion symmetry is on the bandstructure. (Or is there not a general effect?). ...
4
votes
1answer
95 views

What does it mean for a topological phase to be “symmetry protected”?

I have seen some very nice and enlightening awnsers to questions related to topological order and insulators, such as here, or here. However, I'm still puzzled by the concept of "symmetry protection" ...
0
votes
1answer
69 views

What is gate symmetry?

I just read this interesting interview with Frank Wilczek and he talks a couple of times about gate symmetry, without ever defining the term. This isn't a term I've come across, and google throws up ...
4
votes
1answer
68 views

Symmetries in physics (specifically condensed matter physics)

Symmetries play a big role in physics. Some symmetries are translation symmetry, rotation symmetry, time translation symmetry, timereversal symmetry etc. It seems that in condensed matter physics ...
3
votes
1answer
133 views

Why don't we observe spontaneous symmetry restoration in nature?

Why do we always observe spontaneous symmetry breaking in nature and not restoration? Does there exist some argument with the 2nd law of thermodynamics and the entropy of the universe increasing? If ...
8
votes
1answer
105 views

Why is a theory Lorentz invariant if the Lagrangian is Lorentz invariant?

For if I started by trying to make the Hamiltonian Lorentz invariant, I would have failed. Indeed, the Hamiltonian is part of a covariant tensor. But how do I know that the Lagrangian is not a part of ...
0
votes
1answer
56 views

Global Anomaly and Ward Identity

This question is a continuation of the answer posted for this question about anomalies. What happens to the Ward identity corresponding to a global symmetry if that symmetry is anomalous? I mean, is ...
1
vote
1answer
43 views

How does the surface of a material always break inversion symmetry?

I am trying to visualize this for an HCP structure. Take the profile view as such: just working in 2d. So my understanding is if we can take a point (x,y) -> (-x,-y) and get the same crystal than ...
1
vote
0answers
26 views

Spontaneous symmetry breaking of scalar multiplet theory

Consider a theory with two multiplets of real scalar fields $\phi_i$ and $\epsilon_i$, where $i$ runs from $1$ to $N$. The Lagrangian is given by: $$\mathcal L = \frac{1}{2} (\partial_{\mu} \phi_i) (\...
3
votes
1answer
48 views

Generators of a certain symmetry in Quantum Mechanics

In Classical Mechanics to describe symmetries like translations and rotations we use diffeomorphisms on the configuration manifold. In Quantum Mechanics we use unitary operators in state space. We ...
1
vote
1answer
202 views

Understanding Noether's theorem rigorously

I've known about Noether's theorem for some time and reading some things about it recently I've realised I haven't completely understood it. In that case I've been trying to understand a more rigorous ...
15
votes
1answer
426 views

Why do we assume local conformal transformations are symmetries in 2D CFT

The global conformal group in 2D is $SL(2,\mathbb{C})$. It consists of the fractional linear transforms that map the Riemann sphere into itself bijectively and is finite dimensional. However, when ...
3
votes
1answer
47 views

Symmetry responsible for equality of masses of particles

During my studies of basic particle physics the following question came up. What symmetry is responsible for equality of masses of particles and their antiparticles? In particular, is this symmetry ...
5
votes
1answer
2k views

Why we call the ground state of Kitaev model a Spin Liquid?

Now we always talk about the so-called Kitaev spin liquid. One important property of spin liquid is global spin rotation symmetry. Let $\Psi$ represents a spin ground state, if $\Psi$ has global spin ...
0
votes
1answer
42 views

Properties of a body with spherical symmetry

I'm studing Gauss law for gravitational field flux for a mass that has spherical symmetry. Maybe it is an obvious question but what are exactly the propreties of a spherical simmetric body? A ...
0
votes
0answers
31 views

Transformation applied to system without symmetry

Imagine we have a central potential which gives us the Hamiltonian of the form: $$\hat H=-\frac{\hbar^2}{2m} \nabla^2 +V(r)$$ In general this is not symmetric under translation. But let us say that I ...
1
vote
0answers
46 views

Example of a symmetry and the group with which it is modelled? [duplicate]

Could you please provide a specific example of a symmetry and the group with which it is modelled? I am beginner to study symmetry in physics, please answer with just an example. This question is ...
4
votes
0answers
88 views

Completely positive maps and symmetric states

Let $\mathcal{N}$ be a completetely positive trace preserving map (aka a quantum channel) acting on a finite dimensional system $\mathrm{A}$, and let $\pi$ denote the maximally mixed state on $\mathrm{...
15
votes
3answers
10k views

Definite Parity of Solutions to a Schrödinger Equation with even Potential?

I am reading up on the Schrödinger equation and I quote: Because the potential is symmetric under $x\to-x$, we expect that there will be solutions of definite parity. Could someone kindly ...
4
votes
4answers
294 views

Noether's theorem for space translational symmetry

Imagine a ramp potential of the form $U(x) = a*x + b$ in 1D space. This corresponds to a constant force field over $x$. If I do a classical mechanics experiment with a particle, the particle behaves ...
0
votes
0answers
19 views

Fermion Trucation

I recently posted about truncating fermions in supergravity Lagrangians and got a good answer about how this gives a vev to the bosonic content and therefore freezes it to a stationary point of the ...
3
votes
3answers
409 views

Is it possible that Cauchy stress be asymmetric?

According to conservation of linear momentum and angular momentum, one can derive that Cauchy stress tensor is symmetric and hence has only 6 independent components. Is it possible that, when breaking ...
0
votes
1answer
36 views

scalar potential and vector potential behave symmetry properties

How the scaler potential Q(x,t) and vector potential A(x,t) behave under parity and time-reversal transformations.
15
votes
5answers
730 views

Why can a solution show optical rotation?

Why can a solution show optical rotation? A solution, as a liquid, is rotationally isotropic, right? So, even if the molecules are chiral, because of the random orientation of the molecules, shouldn't ...
0
votes
1answer
264 views

Finite potential well, parity of solutions

I'm working through some problems for a QM exam and I've realised I don't really understand the concept of parity of solutions. I'm looking at a simple finite potential well problem: $$V(x)=0, \quad |...
3
votes
0answers
71 views

What is physically irreducible representation?

When I use bilbao crystallographic server recently, I noticed a notation called physically irreducible representation. Paper says it is a direct sum of two complex conjugate representations (if $\...
1
vote
0answers
24 views

Water dipole by symmetry argument [closed]

I'm a mathematician and I'm studying Group and Representation theory and I came across with an interesting exercise involving physics, although I don't know physics, since I'm a mathematician, I found ...
3
votes
1answer
40 views

Why does exchanging coordinates produce a phase of $\pm 1$ in an identical particle wavefunction?

Consider a system of two identical particles described by a wavefunction $\psi(x_1, x_2)$. There are two kinds of exchange operators one can define: Let $P$ be physical exchange. This operator swaps ...
2
votes
1answer
51 views

Metallic and Semiconducting Nanotubes, symmetry discussion

I'm interested in band gaps of Single-walled Carbon Nanotubes (SWNTs). I know that there are three kinds of SWNTs: Zigzag : $(n,0)$ Armchair : $(n,n)$ Chiral : $(n,m)$ Electical properties of ...
7
votes
1answer
151 views

Invariant polynomials of the Landau theory of phase transitions (crystal symmetry?)

I'm convinced I'm missing something so obvious but here goes Typically, one can define something like a "general" expansion of an order parameter, ${\boldsymbol \Gamma}$, up to 6th order as follows $...
1
vote
2answers
146 views

Symmetry and degeneracy in quantum mechanics

If an operator commutes with the Hamiltonian of a problem, does it always must admit degeneracy? For example, parity operator commutes with the Hamiltonian in case of a free particle and we have two ...
4
votes
2answers
42 views

Does a central force have to be independent of angle?

When defining a central force, some sources, like Wikipedia, say that the magnitude of the force only depends on the distance $r$: In classical mechanics, a central force on an object is a force ...
0
votes
0answers
14 views

Isolated system and mutual interaction potential

We know that the total linear momentum of a closed (isolated) system is conserved due to homogeneity of space (Landau and Liftshitz, page 15, Mechanics). Hence for an isolated system of two bodies ...
2
votes
1answer
86 views

Why are there only two linearly independet quartic Higgs terms for the adjoint $24$ in $SU(5)$ GUTs?

I've read the statement in countless papers, for example, here Eq. 4.2 or here Eq. 2.1 without any further explanation or reference, that the "most general renormalizable Higgs potential" for an ...
5
votes
2answers
73 views

Is there a proof that space expanding produces observers at all points that see what we see?

I know that galaxies are moving away from us, and so can see that it's intuitive that if space was expanding, then the astronomical observations from Earth would be the same as at all other points in ...
1
vote
1answer
43 views

Is it necessary to prove the existence of an operator representing symmetry on Hilbert space?

Is there any need to prove the existence of an operator $U$ which represents the action of symmetry transformation on rays in Hilbert space? Or is it enough just to prove that it is unitary and linear ...
4
votes
1answer
40 views

Symmetry Arguments: Flow Through Cylinder

Why can for symmetry reasons a steady, viscous, incompressible flow, obaying the N.S equation: $$\rho(v \nabla)v = -\nabla p + \eta \Delta v $$ That flows through a cylindrical(very long) pipe not ...
1
vote
0answers
64 views

Why are symmetrical structures highly stable?

What makes symmetrical structures(geometry) highly stable? It is perfect to say that the forces acting on a symmetrical structure is balanced and hence stable. But why is it so? To be more specific, ...
2
votes
1answer
148 views

Casimir Invariants of the Galilean group

I had studied a couple of things about Galilean and Poincare group. But in the Galilean group, there is not enough clarity on how to calculate generators for boosts ($B_i$), which if I do it seems I ...