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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Why is quark flavor just a SU(N) group?

In the standard model one has U(1) for electromagnetism, SU(2) for the weak sector and SU(3) for the color sector. One could say that in the quark part of the fermions, there are $$ \underbrace{6}_\...
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1answer
4k views

Classical and quantum anomalies

I have read about anomalies in different contexts and ways. I would like to read an explanation that unified all these statements or points of view: Anomalies are due to the fact that quantum field ...
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4answers
1k views

When can a global symmetry be gauged?

Take a classical field theory described by a local Lagrangian depending on a set of fields and their derivatives. Suppose that the action possesses some global symmetry. What conditions have to be ...
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A Question about a $U(1)_{B-L}$

I know I can write the QCD lagrangian like this: $$ \mathcal{L} = (i\bar{q}_{R} \gamma_{\mu}\partial_{\mu} {q}_{R} + i\bar{q}_{L}\gamma_{\mu}\partial_{\mu} {q}_{L}) + \text{other terms} $$ When ...
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57 views

Understanding standard model and symmetry

I just want to know whether my understanding regarding standard model and symmetry is correct or utter nonsense. The standard model is the (yet incomplete) Lagrangian of the universe. The ...
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73 views

Analyzing the free-particle kernel [closed]

I recently began studying the theory of path integrals from the book by Feynman and Hibbs. The Problem $3.6$ asks to give an argument to show that $F(t_b,t_a)$ depends only on $t_b-t_a$. ...
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150 views

Physical difference between gauge symmetries and global symmetries

There are plenty of well-answered questions on Physics SE about the mathematical differences between gauge symmetries and global symmetries, such as this question. However I would like to understand ...
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1answer
948 views

Maxwell equations and symmetry

Do the full inhomogeneous Maxwell equations obey parity (P) and time reversal (T) symmetry separately or only the full CPT symmetry? I believe the homogeneous Maxwell equations obey parity and time ...
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2answers
380 views

Why are there gapless excitations in the anti-ferromagnetic Heisenberg model while the true ground state is a singlet?

The true ground state of the anti ferromagnetic quantum Heisenberg Model (nearest neighbor only)is known to be a singlet (I think this is Liebs theorem.) Since a singlet is invariant under rotations, ...
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140 views

Are symmetries of a degenerate ground-state manifold always broken?

If a Hamiltonian has a global symmetry and a degenerate ground state, then in the thermodynamic limit, the ground states $| \psi \rangle$ that are eigenstates of the symmetry operator typically become ...
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1answer
85 views

Notations for high symmetry points in the 1st Brillouin zone

I am trying to understand how I should interpret the letters like Г,K,M,T etc., that are usually there in the electronic band structure diagrams. So, let's assume we have graphene with its hexagonal ...
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2k 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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1answer
152 views

What is the minimal symmetry required for a spin Hamiltonian to describe a spin-liquid ground state?

Let's restrict to the case of spin-1/2 system. As we know, a spin-liquid (SL) state is the ground state of a lattice spin Hamiltonian with no spontaneous broken symmetries (sometime it may ...
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1answer
123 views

Representation of U(1) on fock space

I am currently reading up on the use of group theory in physics using Peter Woit's book draft (available on his homepage). I do understand the mathematical concepts but have a bit of a problem making ...
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0answers
39 views

Antiunitary operators in the tenfold way

In the classification of free fermion systems in condensed matter, physicists usually divide the systems into ten symmetry classes, first discovered by Altland and Zirnbauer. In their classification, ...
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2answers
36 views

Standard-model flavor symmetry

If we consider the chiral Lagrangian after the spontaneous symmetry breaking, we have got fermion masses and Yukawa couplings to the physical Higgs boson. So it follows global symmetries in flavor ...
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546 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 ...
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1answer
103 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 (...
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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!...
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40 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 ...
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2answers
128 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 ...
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1answer
56 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....
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1answer
52 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 ...
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1answer
67 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 ...
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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 ...
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4answers
394 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 ...
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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 ...
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25 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?). ...
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1answer
108 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" ...
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70 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 ...
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1answer
69 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 ...
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1answer
135 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 ...
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1answer
111 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 ...
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1answer
58 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 ...
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45 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 ...
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27 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) (\...
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50 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 ...
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1answer
205 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 ...
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1answer
437 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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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32 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 ...
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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 ...
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89 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{...
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3answers
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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 ...
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4answers
298 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 ...
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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 ...
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3answers
416 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 ...
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1answer
40 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.