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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962 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. ...
7
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3answers
330 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 ...
2
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1answer
71 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} ...
3
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2answers
67 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 ...
3
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2answers
99 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 ...
8
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2answers
411 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 ...
6
votes
4answers
477 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 ...
22
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5answers
5k 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 ...
2
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0answers
139 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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0answers
55 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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0answers
35 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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0answers
72 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 ...
2
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0answers
75 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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0answers
53 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
166 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
331 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 ...
8
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2answers
235 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 ...
0
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1answer
115 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 ...
0
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2answers
43 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
49 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 ...
2
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1answer
42 views

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 ...
6
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3answers
579 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
90 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". ...
3
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1answer
58 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
197 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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10answers
2k 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
36 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
51 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
93 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 ...
10
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2answers
628 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
147 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
345 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
39 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 ...
0
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1answer
42 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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0answers
62 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
166 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 ...
23
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6answers
2k views

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
66 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, ...
0
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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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0answers
32 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 ...
7
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1answer
106 views

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
76 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
115 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
90 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
36 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
165 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
97 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\\ ...
0
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1answer
66 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
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1answer
59 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 ...