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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“Geometric” symmetries

A symmetry of a dynamical system is a diffeomorphism of the configuration space which sends solutions of the equations of motion to solutions of the equations of motion. That is, $A$ is a symmetry if ...
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A kind of Noether's theorem for the Hamiltonian formalism

How can I (conveniently?) show that an invariance of the Lagrangian and Hamiltonian (i.e. the kinetic as well as the potential energy are independently invariant) will lead to a conservation law using ...
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determining electrostatic field using only symmetries

As an exercise, I'm trying to (rigorously) determine as much as possible about the electrostatic field due to a infinite line of charge (along the z-axis) without using Maxwell's equations or any of ...
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41 views

Conserved currents from Noether's theorem

I'm not sure if I understand the concept correctly. Given an infinitesimal transformation $$\phi \rightarrow \phi + \alpha \Delta\phi$$ the change in the Lagrangian density ...
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50 views

How to interpret irreversibility in time?

I'll quote Feynman's Lectures, chapter 52 (Symmetry in Physical Laws) of volume 1: [...] If we see the egg splattering on the sidewalk and the shell cracking open, and so on, then we will surely ...
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Why are Killing fields relevant in physics?

I'm taking a course on General Relativity and the notes that I'm following define a Killing vector field $X$ as those verifying: $$\mathcal{L}_Xg~=~ 0.$$ They seem to be very important in physics ...
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Spacetime as a coset of a symmetry group

In the introduction to his nice PNAS paper on symmetry, David Gross said Einstein’s great advance in 1905 was to put symmetry first, to regard the symmetry principle as the primary feature of ...
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Diffeomorphism group vs. $GL(4,\mathbb{R})$ in General Relativity

I am quite confused with the groups Diff$(M)$ and $GL(4,\mathbb{R})$ in the context of general relativity. I understand that the symmetries of GR are the transformations that leave the equations ...
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Noether's current expression in Peskin and Schroeder

In the second chapter of Peskin and Schroeder, An Introduction to Quantum Field Theory, it is said that the action is invariant if the Lagrangian density changes by a four-divergence. But if we ...
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87 views

Noether's theorem and translations

I'm a bit confused about Noether's theorem (or about calculus of variations in general) when it comes to the translational symmetry $x^\mu\mapsto {x'}^\mu=x^\mu-a^\mu$. My professor just wrote that if ...
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424 views

When do phase space functions' Poisson brackets inherit the Lie algebra structure of a symmetry?

I've seen several examples of phase space functions whose Poisson brackets (or Dirac brackets) have the same algebra as the Lie algebra of some symmetry. For example, for plain old particle motion in ...
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158 views

Symmetry factor for Feynman diagrams in $\phi^4$-theory for $n$-points Green function

I'm working with two theories. Theory A: $H_{int} =\int d^3x \frac{Mg}{2}\phi\varphi^2$ Theory B: $\phi^4$-interaction: $H_{int} = \int d^3 x \frac{\lambda}{4!}\phi(x)^4$ Where $M$ is the mass ...
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How is it possible to vary time without affect the coordinates or their derivatives?

In the context of Noether's theorem , the Hamiltonian is the constant of motion associated with the time-translational invariance of the Lagrangian. Time-translational invariance is equivalent to the ...
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Global and local symmetry for Isospin/Strangeness etc

Why some symmetries $ \big[SU(3),SU(2)$ and $U(1)\big]$ of the Standard Model are local, and some others remain global, like Isospin and Strangeness. Is there a fundumental reason for that? Doesn't it ...
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30 views

Do we always have particle-hole symmetry?

If we write the BdG equation for any model, and double the degrees of freedom (e.g. 4N*4N matrix for a N site chain), then we are guaranteed the particle-hole symmetry. Is there any constraints to do ...
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Symmetry of interaction lagrangian and symmetry of full lagrangian

Suppose we have lagrangian $$ \tag 1 L = \frac{\theta}{f_{\gamma}}F_{EM}\tilde{F}_{EM} +\frac{1}{2}(\partial_{\mu}\theta)^2 - \frac{1}{2}m_{\theta}^2\theta^2 + L_{SM}, $$ where $\tilde{F}_{EM}$ ...
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40 views

physical meaning of major symmetry of the stiffness tensor

What happens if a stiffness tensor does not have the "major symmetry" $C_{ijkl}=C_{klij}$? Background: In linear elasticity (generalising Hooke's law from a spring to a continuous medium), the ...
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45 views

What does the Hamilton-Function have to do with conservation of Energy in Lagrangian Mechanics?

I am currently doing Lagrangian Mechanics and I am having difficulties with deriving conservation laws from the Lagrangian. I have tried to understand this by reading the explanation in three ...
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31 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 ...
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Is this an error?

The teacher wrote the following: There is a dot missing where the green arrow is, right? After applying Euler's theorem, the term in brackets becomes $x_j$, but we need it to be $\dot{x_j}$, don't ...
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1answer
309 views

What's a good book for an advanced undergraduate/early graduate student to learn about symmetry, conservation and Noether's theorems?

What's a good book (or other resource) for an advanced undergraduate/early graduate student to learn about symmetry, conservation laws and Noether's theorems? Neuenschwander's book has a scary review ...
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75 views

Are all maximally symmetric spacetimes constant curvature spacetimes?

A $d$ dimensional maximally symmetric spacetime is a spacetime with the maximum allowed number of Killing vectors. This number is $\frac{d(d+1)}{2}$. Constant curvature spacetimes are spacetimes ...
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65 views

Lagrangian vs Hamiltonian and symmetry of a theory

It is said that since the path-integral formulation of quantum mechanics/or quantum field theory uses the Lagrangian rather than the Hamiltonian, as the fundamental quantity, it preserves all the ...
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826 views

Are the principles of space-time homogeneity and Isotropy independent of one another?

Einstein in deriving the Lorentz transformations, used the principles of space-time homogeneity and Isotropy. Does space-time isotropy follow from space-time homogeneity or are they completely ...
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108 views

Particle-Hole transformation in Superconductor

The Bogoliubov - de Gennes equation has a emergent particle-hole symmetry: $$ \mathcal{P}H\mathcal{P}^{\dagger} = -H\text{.} $$ My question is now what happen to the Nambu spinor: $$ ...
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Superpotential Symmetry

Superpotential in general has the form $W=a_n\Phi^n$. If I require that my superpotential should be invariant under the following global transformation, $\delta \Phi=i\epsilon \Phi$ and $\delta ...
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Noether's Theorem for Hamiltonians and Lagrangians

Looking around I see one version of Noether's Theorem that creates conserved quantities from symmetries that preserve the Lagrangian (e.g. http://math.ucr.edu/home/baez/noether.html), and another ...
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$SO(N)$ symmetric theory of $N$ real scalar fields, why do charges have correct commutation relations of generators?

Consider an $SO(N)$ symmetric theory of $N$ real scalar fields,$$\mathcal{L} = {1\over2} \partial_\mu \Phi^a \partial^\mu \Phi^a - {1\over2} m^2 \Phi^a \Phi^a - {1\over4} \lambda(\Phi^a ...
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81 views

Gauge the symmetry $φ \to φ + a(x)$ for a free massless real scalar field

How does one alter the Lagrangian density for a real scalar field $$\frac{∂_μφ∂^μφ}{2}$$ such that is will be invariant under the gauge transformation $φ → φ + a(x)$? For a complex scalar field ...
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102 views

Behavior of the Electric- and Magnetic-field under time reversal and parity

The behavior of the electric- $\mathbf{E}$ and the magnetic-field $\mathbf{B}$ und time reversal and parity can be calculated in different ways. My first solution is to study the transformation ...
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109 views

Conservation of energy and Killing-field

In general relativity we have no general conservation of energy and momentum. But if there exists a Killing-field we can show that this leads to a symmetry in spacetime and so to a conserved quantity. ...
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423 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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Combinatorics of fourth order feynman diagram

I am trying to calculate how many different forth order feynman loop diagrams I can produce. I know that for 2nd order it is 6x3x2 thus 3! since you start with 3 lines coming out of each vertex so 6 ...
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177 views

Is there something more to Noether's theorem?

From the definition of Lagrangian mechanics, Noether's theorem shows that conservation of momentum and energy comes from invariance vs time and space. Is the reverse true? Are Lagrangian mechanics ...
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357 views

Invariance of action $\Rightarrow$ covariance of field equations?

Invariance of action $\Rightarrow$ covariance of field equations? Is this statement true? I have only seen examples of this, like the invariance of Electromagnetic action under Lorentz ...
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44 views

Anisotropy Axis

I am trying to identify the anisotropy axis of a patterned two-dimensional surface, such as one with parallel sets of stripes...is the anisotropy axis parallel or perpendicular to the stripes? ...
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17 views

What are gyrotropic crystals?

I am reading a paper about spin photocurrents that talks about gyrotropic crystals, but I do not find any good explanation what gyrotropy is or how to find out whether a crystal belongs to the ...
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75 views

Non-symmetry of a lagrangian

If a transformation $\Phi \rightarrow \Phi + \alpha \partial \Phi/ \partial \alpha$ is not a symmetry of the Lagrangian, then the Noether current is no longer conserved, but rather ...
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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 ...
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Constructing Killing tensors from Killing vectors

Background: After reading about Carter constant and symmetries in GR, I became interested in Killing tensors. I tried reading this paper by Alan Barnes, Brian Edgar and Raffaele Rani, discussing ...
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390 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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Do an action and its Euler-Lagrange equations have the same symmetries?

Assume a certain action $S$ with certain symmetries, from which according to the Lagrangian formalism, the equations of motion (EOM) of the system are the corresponding Euler-Lagrange equations. Can ...
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57 views

Gravitational force and potential in infite slab

Let's say that we have an infinite slab of height $2h$ and mass density $\rho$. Let's define $x,y$ as the axis parallel to the slab and $z$ as the perpendicular one, with $z=0$ at the middle of the ...
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342 views

Symmetry arguments for valley physics in graphene with broken inversion

I am trying to understand this paper: http://link.aps.org/doi/10.1103/PhysRevLett.99.236809 (Here is an arXiv version: http://arxiv.org/abs/0709.1274) In the introduction, they mention certain ...
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Noether Theorem and Energy conservation in classical mechanics

I have a problem deriving the conservation of energy from time translation invariance. The invariance of the Lagrangian under infinitesimal time displacements $t \rightarrow t' = t + \epsilon$ can be ...
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248 views

Killing Vectors in Schwarzschild Metric

Given the Schwarzschild metric with $(-,+,+,+)$ signature, $$ds^2=-\left(1-\frac{2M}{r}\right)dt^2+\left(1-\frac{2M}{r}\right)^{-1}+r^2(d\theta^2+\sin^2\theta\,d\phi^2)$$ the lack of dependence of ...
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Transformations of states in quantum mechanics

In Classical Mechanics we usually describe the possible configurations of a system by points on a smooth manifold $M$ which is the configuration manifold of the system. In that case, when we talk ...
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Examples of non-linear field symmetries?

Consider a Lagrangian theory of fields $\phi^a(x)$. Sometime such a theory posseses a symmetry (let's talk about internal symmetries for simplicity), which means that the Lagrangian is invariant under ...
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167 views

Is my understanding of Gauge Symmetries correct?

I'm currently working on a project about Symmetry Breaking for my physics bachelor. Right now I'm trying to understand Gauge Symmetries (although I guess it's not much of a symmetry). And I've been ...
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How to find symmetry transformations?

For a given Lagrangian $$ {\cal L} = - \frac{1}{4} F_{\mu \nu} F^{\mu\nu} + |D_{\mu} \phi|^2 -V (\phi) $$ with $\phi = \frac{1}{\sqrt{2}} (\phi^1 + i \phi^2)$, there are the infinitesimal local ...