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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How can gauge invariance be unphysical?

Gauge symmetry is said to be "unphysical" because the transformations - unlike changes of reference frame - do not correspond to real physical operations. But the consequences of gauge symmetries are ...
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100 views

Schrodinger equation, commutative operators, and Symmetry

When solving Schrodinger's equation in 3D with a spherical laplacian you reach a point at which you introduce a separation constant and can see that the same eigenvalue satisfies the radial and ...
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75 views

Relation between gauge symmetry and mass difference

Usually (like in Georgi's Lie Algebra book) people argue the reason why Gellmann $SU(3)$ flavor symmetry (u,d,s) can't extend to $SU(4)$ (u,d,c,s) or higher flavour symmetry is the their mass ...
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What is the symmetry group of this Hamiltonian?

Consider a Hamiltonian $$\hat H=-\partial_x^2-\partial_y^2+(x-y)Q,$$ where $x,y\in[0,a]$ (homogeneous Dirichlet boundary conditions assumed), and $Q$ is some real parameter. When $Q=0$, the ...
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56 views

What is the difference between the groups $PSU(N)$ and $SU(N)$? [closed]

What is the difference between the groups $PSU(N)$ and $SU(N)$? For example how is $PSU(2,2|4)$ different than $SU(2,2|4)$?
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89 views

Does point group symmetry also act within “spin space” for a lattice spin system?

As an example, let's consider a quantum spin system on a 2D square lattice. The lattice point group symmetries include $C_4$ rotation, parities, etc.... And let's take $C_2$ symmetry (2-fold rotation) ...
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3answers
91 views

$SO(3)$, $SU(2)$ and symmetries in quantum mechanics [duplicate]

A rotation in the vector space $\mathbb{R}^3$ is represented by the known 3x3-matrices. But at this point I'm really confused how to get from there to Quantum Mechanics. The group of ...
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7answers
450 views

What does the statement “the laws of physics are invariant” mean?

In the first paragraph of Wikipedia's article on special relativity, it states one of the assumptions of special relativity is the laws of physics are invariant (i.e., identical) in all inertial ...
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1answer
73 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 ...
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94 views

Definition of Duality (opposed to Symmetry)

I'm learning basic string theory right now and we came across T-duality which was presented as a symmetry of the formula for the mass of a string in the context of compactification. There was a remark ...
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138 views

Ideal, isotropic fluid and stress tensor

An ideal fluid is the one which cannot support any shearing stress. It also doesn't have viscosity. My question is what does it mean by a fluid to be isotropic? Is an ideal fluid necessarily isotropic ...
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240 views

How to understand this symmetry in the wavefunctions of a diatomic molecule?

In Wikipedia (and elsewhere), a particular symmetry of the quantum system of a diatomic molecule is mentioned: symmetry under reflection along a plane containing the internuclear axis. The ...
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31 views

Can any global symmetry be promoted to the local symmetry? [duplicate]

Can any global symmetry be promoted to the local symmetry? Does there exist counterexample?
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208 views

What exactly do we mean by symmetry in physics?

I'm referring here to invariance of the Lagrangian under Lorentz transformations. There are two possibilities: Physics does not depend on the way we describe it (passive symmetry). We can choose ...
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2answers
136 views

Global symmetry and particle multiplets

In chapter 20, of Peskin and Schroeder's quantum field theory book, they start with a comment that a global symmetry that is manifest lead to particle multiplets with restricted interactions. Can ...
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98 views

$T$-invariant Hamiltonians

If $T$ is time-reversal transformation $t\mapsto -t$, Why do $T$-invariant Bloch Hamiltonians obey $$H(-k) = T H(k) T^{-1}$$ and not $$H(k) = T H(k) T^{-1}$$ Somehow I understand the word "invariant" ...
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114 views

How can I prove that $\langle\Omega\vert \phi(x) \vert\Omega\rangle \langle\Omega\vert\phi(y)\vert\Omega\rangle=0$ for a scalar field?

From Peskin-Schroeder, p.212: The term $$ \langle \Omega | \phi(x) | \Omega \rangle \langle \Omega |\phi(y) | \Omega \rangle$$ is usually zero by symmetry; for higher-spin fields, it is zero ...
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48 views

What conserved quantities does a one-dimensional non-symmetric lattice have?

When I asked what leads to degeneracy of eigenstates of free particle, the answer was parity. But it appears that even if we consider a lattice with non-symmetric cell, so the potential looks as shown ...
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1answer
91 views

How to diagonalise the Lagrangian mass term with SU(4) symmetry and self-dual tensors

I should write the mass term of the Lagrangian with global SO(4) symmetry in tensor representation with anti-symmetric tensors and then diagonalise this term with defining a new set of tensors ...
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225 views

Does time invariance conclude conservation of energy? [closed]

I find it hard to understand that time-translation invariance necessarily implies conservation of energy. As I understand it, Noether's theorem says that there is an energy conservation because the ...
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59 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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1answer
36 views

Finding a basis for minimal representation of a wavefunction (extracting symmetries)

I asked something like this on Math StackExchange, but now that I think about it, this probably belongs better over here. I want to find all linear operators (non necessarily hermitian) $\{\hat{A}\}$ ...
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1answer
204 views

Does Noether's theorem apply to entropy?

Entropy appears to have a translation symmetry - adding some constant value to it doesn't appear to my fairly rudimentary understanding of physics alter the actual physics. Is this correct? Now ...
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216 views

Why do we need spontaneous symmetry breaking in Lagrangian formalism?

I have always struggled with the concept of spontaneous symmetry breaking. It seems to me that many others don't find it very intuitive as well, but that could be just me having difficulties with the ...
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171 views

Why are large scale structures isotropic in the Ising model?

I have at least a qualitative understanding of why the critical state of the Ising model is scale invariant, by arguments to do with renormalisation, which I understand only very roughly. However, in ...
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334 views

If a symmetry operator S in a QFT annihilates the vacuum, why does S preserve the space of 1-particle states?

In the paper "Supersymmetry and Morse Theory", on the third page (p. 663 in the journal version), Witten says: "Now in any quantum field theory if a symmetry operator (an operator which commutes ...
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Explain materials with 4 fold symmetry having same reflectance when shone with LCP and RCP

This is my first post here. I am currently reading "Optical planar chiral metamaterial designs for strong circular dichroism and polarization rotation" by Do-Hoon Kwon, Pingjuan L. Werner, and ...
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1answer
192 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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1answer
81 views

Is the weak interaction Lagrangian invariant under parity transformations?

The weak interaction term in the Lagrangian reads $$ \bar \Psi \gamma_\mu P_L \Psi W^\mu. $$ Under parity transformations, because of $\Psi \rightarrow \gamma_0 \Psi$ and $\gamma_5 \rightarrow ...
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126 views

Why is electric charge the conserved quantity corresponding to global $U(1)$ symmetry? [duplicate]

An example of a symmetry transformation for certain Lagrangians (notably the canonical complex scalar field Lagrangian) is multiplication of the fields by a complex phase. When we multiply the fields ...
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74 views

Solve symmetric circuits by a glance [closed]

How to know with just a cursory glance that the Voltage needed is zero ? i think there must be a way to know it , by symmetry or something
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1answer
314 views

What happens in the twin paradox if the ship doesn't return?

What happens if the twin in the spaceship doesn't return? Would he still be younger than his other twin? Is the symmetry broken simply by accelerating out of earth? If it is still symmetrical when ...
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353 views

Solving Special Function Equations Using Lie Symmetries

The lie group + representation theory approach to special functions & how they solve the ode's arising in physics is absolutely amazing. I've given an example of it's power below on Bessel's ...
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311 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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94 views

Origin of momentum. Noether's theorem

My professor talked about Noether's theorem and how translation is the origin of momentum conservation. But why is it not velocity that is conserved but mass times velocity. And on the same note why ...
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1answer
78 views

Question about global internal $SO(n)$ symmetry

I have the following Lagrangian (density) for bosons $$L = \partial_{\mu} \phi^i \partial^{\mu}\phi^i+ m^2\phi^i \phi^i$$ and I am trying to understand why this Lagrangian is invariant under ...
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251 views

How to count and 'see' the symmetry factor of Feynman diagrams?

Could somebody explain how one can derive the symmetry factor both by counting possible contractions and by looking at the symmetry of a diagram. Consider for example this diagram in $\phi^4$-theory ...
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212 views

Is there a mathematical reason for the Lagrangian to be Lorentz invariant?

The Hamiltonian is the energy, which is just one component of a four-vector and therefore not Lorentz invariant. The Lagrangian is the Legendre transform of the Hamiltonian and I was wondering if ...
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93 views

Is global gauge symmetry really a symmetry and local conserved current in gauge theories?

One way to define a gauge theory is that whenever the Lagrangian is invariant under some local transformations, we say these local transformations are local gauge transformations and the theory is a ...
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58 views

Symmetry Group of system to a given Hamiltonian

I want to determine the symmetry group of the following system: I consider a charged particle in a spherically symmetric potential $V$ and a homogeneous electric field of magnitude $E$ in ...
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53 views

Finding conserved quantities from Hamiltonian when Symmetry is not evident [closed]

A particle is moving in 3D space, under a potential $$V = -\frac{\alpha}{r}-\frac{\vec{r} \cdot \vec{\mu}}{r^3 } $$ where $\vec{\mu}$ is some constant vector. I need to show there are three ...
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1answer
295 views

Classical action of the simple harmonic oscillator

I have been calculating the classical action of the harmonic oscillator, the problem I have is that I am only able to solve it if I set the integration limits of the action integral to be $t=T$ and ...
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0answers
47 views

Can we use combined symmetry to simplify the calculation of algebraic PSGs?

In classifying mean-field spin liquids under projective construction, the algebraic projective symmetry group (PSG) approach focus on the mathematical construction of the possible extensions of the ...
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1answer
46 views

Charge density and space inversion

J. D. Jackson in his book Classical Electrodynamics on page 249 ff. discusses the behaviour of electromagnetic quantities under space inversion (parity operation) and time reversal. He remarks: ...
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35 views

Bulk Symmetry corresponding to Yangian Symmetry of Planar N=4?

4D N=4 Super Yang Mills in the planar limit has an infinite dimensional symmetry known as Yangian symmetry. Dualities respect symmetries, so what does this symmetry correspond to in the $AdS_5\times ...
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139 views

Derivation of correction to canonical stress energy tensor due to addition of total divergence to Lagrangian

It is mentioned in almost every text book that equations of motions are not modified if we add a total divergence of some vector $$\partial_\mu \ X^{\mu}$$ to Lagrangian but canonical stress energy ...
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2answers
300 views

Why isn't our universe symmetric?

Why were random variations introduced in the spherically symmetric universe after Big Bang which made it non-symmetrical. Since the outcome of a coin toss depend on factors such as torque applied, air ...
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453 views

Dirac spinors under Parity transformation or what do the Weyl spinors in a Dirac spinor really stand for?

My problem is understanding the transformation behaviour of a Dirac spinor (in the Weyl basis) under parity transformations. The standard textbook answer is $$\Psi^P = \gamma_0 \Psi = ...
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2answers
213 views

How can we differentiate between matter and antimatter? [duplicate]

For instance if there was a galaxy, assume it to be made up of antimatter (isolated from other "normal" galaxies), how would we, or rather, would we be able to distinguish if it was made up of matter ...
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30 views

What symmetry operation mixes states with different $\ell$ in hydrogen atom? [duplicate]

We can mix states with different $m$ in hydrogen atom by rotating it around some axis (not coinciding with $z$). Thus rotation is the symmetry operation which mixes states with different $m$. As ...