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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15
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5answers
734 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
270 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
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0answers
72 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
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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 ...
2
votes
1answer
52 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
155 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
166 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
44 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
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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
87 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
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1answer
44 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
42 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
72 views

Why are symmetrical structures highly stable? [closed]

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
157 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 ...
2
votes
0answers
29 views

$SU(2)$ symmetry and conservation law in condensed matter systems [closed]

My question has a few parts, I know from Noether that if there is a symmetry in a Hamiltonian, there is a conservation law. What would be the conservation law associated with $SU(2)$ symmetry? $...
1
vote
1answer
292 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
471 views

Time reversal and parity symmetry

I was previously under the misapprehension that time $T$ and parity $P$ symmetries in conjunction ($PT$) were a reflection in $(3+1)$-dimensional space-time, where $$P: \vec x \to -\vec x$$ $$T: t \...
14
votes
2answers
1k views

What is the role of the vacuum expectation value in symmetry breaking and the generation of mass?

Consider a theory of one complex scalar field with the following Lagrangian. $$ \mathcal{L}=\partial _\mu \phi ^*\partial ^\mu \phi +\mu ^2\phi ^*\phi -\frac{\lambda}{2}(\phi ^*\phi )^2. $$ The ...
0
votes
1answer
89 views

Deeper principles in classical mechanics

While teaching introductory physics, my professor explained that the conservation of linear momentum, conservation of energy and conservation of angular momentum are based on deeper principles in ...
0
votes
1answer
53 views

Coleman Mandula theorem and translations

I don't know what Coleman Mandula theorem is, however if I were forced to say something about it, I will say it is a statement that suggests that internal and spatial symmetries have no unique ...
5
votes
1answer
146 views

Why does Wikipedia equate hidden symmetry with broken symmetry for the standard model?

I have recently started studying the basic ideas of symmetry and group representation in order to understand the basic principles behind the standard model. I do follow the difference between a global ...
0
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0answers
27 views

Understanding what a tranformation on a Ray and Hilbert space

I've been referring to Chapter 2 of Introduction to Quantum Field Theory by Weinberg where he talks about symmetries and how they go about. Now, there are two points that he mentions. A ray, which by ...
1
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1answer
104 views

Is the cosmological time grosso modo isochrone?

Is the cosmological time grosso modo isochrone? by analogy with space isotropy. Or else do we have possibly great differences by analogy with great voids in the space. We know that it's not strictly ...
2
votes
0answers
76 views

Part of a Wigner theorem [closed]

I was trying to understand why there should exist operator in Hilbert space to correspond to any symmetry transformation and found about Wigner's theorem. In it, I can see that any transformed vector ...
0
votes
3answers
99 views

Thinking about the properties of 'nothing' [closed]

If a certain identifiable part of space that has no type of measurable energy fields manifesting 'in it' for a given duration ; is such a totally empty space the same as 'nothing'? Anything with any ...
0
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1answer
39 views

Existence of representation of symmetry transformation

There is a simple fact that we can change our point of view and that physical laws should remain the same, id est, outcomes of our experiments should be the same no matter from which frame of ...
2
votes
1answer
259 views

Hermitian conjugate of an antiunitary transformation

In quantum mechanics, one often considers symmetry transformations which are defined in terms of operators which do not change the norm of states in the Hilbert space. For the Wigner's theorem, this ...
1
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0answers
43 views

Symmetries of a Lagrangian density

Given some Lagrangian density as this how in general can one finds it's symmetries that give conserved currents? For example in this case U(1) is ok, but are there others? Do you know some book ...
5
votes
3answers
174 views

Spontaneous symmetry breaking to subspace not giving massless bosons

I'm currently trying to understand spontaneously symmetries broken in general and have stumbled upon a weird result which doesn't seem to correspond to my knowledge about broken gauge symmetries. ...
0
votes
2answers
176 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\\ \phi_0+i\phi_3\end{...
2
votes
2answers
32 views

Bloch Functions as an implication of the Crystallographic Restriction Theorem?

I'm studying Bloch Functions and it seems to me safe to assume that they are the most general Eigenfunction of a Hamiltionian with the crystal periodicity. Now the only considerations made in deriving ...
6
votes
2answers
618 views

A simple conjecture on the Chern number of a 2-level Hamiltonian $H(\mathbf{k})$?

For example, let's consider a quadratic fermionic Hamiltonian on a 2D lattice with translation symmetry, and assume that the Fourier transformed Hamiltonian is described by a $2\times2$ Hermitian ...
0
votes
1answer
50 views

How exactly do we know how should transformations of vectors of Hilbert space look like?

There are transformations on physical states which induce unitary transformations of vectors in Hilbert space that correspond to these physical states. We demand that operators in Hilbert space be ...
2
votes
0answers
67 views

Representation of Lorentz Tranformation on Fields and Wigners theorem

I've been reading about symmetries and I haven't been able piece this information together. I've the Lorentz transformation $$x^\mu \mapsto x^{\rho} = \Lambda_\nu^\mu x^\nu$$ First off, arn't we ...
3
votes
1answer
73 views

Does Birkhoff's theorem hold inside the event horizon?

Can Birkhoff's theorem be used to say that the blackhole exterior and interior sections of Kruskal-Szekeres's solution (or coordinate transformations of it like Gullstrand–Painlevé coordinates, etc.) ...
20
votes
1answer
577 views

Why exactly do sometimes universal covers, and sometimes central extensions feature in the application of a symmetry group to quantum physics?

There seem to be two different things one must consider when representing a symmetry group in quantum mechanics: The universal cover: For instance, when representing the rotation group $\mathrm{SO}(...
1
vote
0answers
52 views

What is conformal symmetry physically?

I'm reading a paper by t'Hooft http://arxiv.org/abs/1410.6675. There is an argument in the paper that I could not understand: "Now that system, described by Maxwell’s equations, does have conformal ...
4
votes
0answers
52 views

Identifying Lorentz Covariant Equations

Statement: $\phi , A^{\mu}, T^{\mu \nu}$ are a Lorentz scalar, vector, and tensor. Which of the following equations are Lorentz covariant. a. $\phi = A_{0}$ b. $\phi = A^{\mu}A_{\mu}$ c. $\phi = ...
1
vote
0answers
18 views

Chiral tunneling in Weyl Equation

I am trying to understand perfect tunneling of particles obeying Weyl equation through a potential barrier at normal incidence. I know that this has something to do with chirality, but I am not ...
0
votes
1answer
33 views

Relation between homotopy theory and symmetry transformation of the Lagrangian

What is the relation between the symmetry transformations of the Lagrangian and homotopy theory? If yes, how? Not sure if this is a math or physics questions. References would be very helpful.
0
votes
1answer
154 views

Only get part of commutator form expanding to third order in generator expression

(Shankar 12.2.4) Let $U[R(\epsilon_z\hat k)] = I - {i\over\hbar}\epsilon_z L_z$ be the infinitesimal generator for rotation operators, and $T(\vec\epsilon) = I - {i\over\hbar}\vec\epsilon\cdot\vec P$...
3
votes
1answer
271 views

Why is the projective symmetry group (PSG) called projective?

As discussed by Prof.Wen in the context of the quantum orders of spin liquids, PSG is defined as all the transformations that leave the mean-field ansatz invariant, IGG is the so-called invariant ...
0
votes
0answers
26 views

How can intuitively guess what conserved quantities has the system that I am studying?

I'm taking a course in Classical Electrodynamics and in one problem my teacher introduced us to a triplet of fields ($\phi^a$) invariant under internal rotations, i.e. transformations like: $$\phi'^...
0
votes
1answer
36 views

Implication of rotational symmetry on scattering matrix/ scattering cross-section [closed]

How does the rotational invariance helps simplifying Non-relativistic quantum scattering problems? Is there any any additional information that can be extracted about the scattering amplitude? It ...
0
votes
0answers
40 views

Free Complex scalar field and conservation principle

In a free complex scalar field, the difference between the number of Particles and antiparticles is conserved. This constarint can be satisfied with a simultaneous creation of equal number of ...
0
votes
0answers
21 views

Symmetry and present value problems

Suppose we don't know any physical law of nature and we're studying, a system. Let's say a uniformly spherically charged distribution. Now this distribution has the property, that if you rotate this ...
2
votes
0answers
25 views

Symmetry arguments and plane sheet of charge [duplicate]

The electric field due to a infinite plane sheet of charge is given by $\sigma/\epsilon_o$. Now could we have deduced by symmetry that the electric field's magnitude won't depend on distance?
0
votes
1answer
101 views

Galilean relativity in QM

Intro I've been trying to show that the generator of boosts can be written in operator form as can be seen here, as: $$ B = \sum_i m_i x_i(t) - t \sum_i p_i $$ As a reminder the transformation ...
1
vote
0answers
72 views

Why do three-scalar correlation functions vanish by parity?

We have the following Lagrangian: $$ \mathcal L = \frac12 (\partial_\mu \phi)^2 - \frac12 m^2 \psi^2 + \bar\psi(\mathrm i \gamma^\mu \partial_\mu -M) \psi - \mathrm i g \bar\psi \gamma^5 \psi \phi \,. ...