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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Big Bang and Spherical Symmetry

If the universe did indeed start with the big bang why is the universe not spherically symmetric? As per Wikipedia entry on Big Bang, (and my understanding as well) big bang is the best explanation ...
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160 views

Why Goldstone Bosons? (A Question about VEVs)

I understand how the mechanism of spontaneous symmetry breaking works, and why it produces Goldstone bosons (for global symmetries) and massive gauge bosons (for local ones). However, I'm confused as ...
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Lorentz invariance and the vacuum expectation value of fields with spin > 0

I had a question about Moduli space, which I was reading about here, but then I read this sentence: "Lorentz invariance forces the vacuum expectation values of any higher spin fields to ...
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3answers
451 views

What sort of experiment would directly test time reversal invariance?

I guess the title says it all: how could/would you experimentally test whether our universe is truly time reversal invariant, without relying on the CPT theorem? What experiments have been proposed to ...
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162 views

Time Reversal in Euclidean Spacetime - unitary or antiunitary?

(pre-request) We know that time reversal operator $T$ is an anti-unitary operator in Minkowsi Spacetime. i.e. $$ T z=z^*T $$ where the complex number $z$ becomes its complex conjugate. See, for ...
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126 views

Ghost Number Conservation

I've been reading about gauge theory quantization, and understand it mostly. The only thing I don't get is why people talk about "ghost number conservation". As far as I can tell, the ghost number is ...
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3answers
137 views

What does “transform among themselves” mean?

I'm reading a script on atomic physics, and there's a chapter on irreducible tensors. I can't understand the meaning of "transform among themselves" in this context: An arbitrary rotation of the ...
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349 views

Nobel Prize 2013: What is it about? [closed]

I would really like to understand Higgs-Englert’s discovery that earned them the 2013 physics Nobel prize. I tried reading their work, but understood nothing of it unfortunately. The reason why I’m ...
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Can classical orders coexist with quantum orders?

For example, the ground state of the antiferromagnetic(AFM) Heisenberg model $H=J\sum_{<ij>}\mathbf{S}_i \cdot \mathbf{S}_j(J>0)$ on a 2D square lattice is a Neel state, which is a classical ...
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208 views

A naive question on the $U(1)$ gauge transformation of electromagnetic field?

For simplicity, in the following we set the electric charge $e=1$ and consider a lattice spinless free electron system in an external static magnetic field $\mathbf{B}=\nabla\times\mathbf{A}$ ...
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208 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 ...
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189 views

Some ambiguous points on Spontaneous Symmetry Breaking (SSB)?

Almost in every textbook of condensed matter physics, the standard description of SSB could be formulated as follows: Consider the lattice Heisenberg model in an external magnetic field ...
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520 views

How to define the mirror symmetry operator for Kane-Mele model?

Let us take the famous Kane-Mele(KM) model as our starting point. Due to the time-reversal(TR), 2-fold rotational(or 2D space inversion), 3-fold rotational and mirror symmetries of the honeycomb ...
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101 views

Are the symmetry operators well defined in the context of Projective Symmetry Group(PSG)?

Consider the Schwinger-fermion approach $\mathbf{S}_i=\frac{1}{2}f_i^\dagger\mathbf{\sigma}f_i$ to spin-$\frac{1}{2}$ system on 2D lattices. Just as Prof.Wen said in his seminal paper on PSG, the ...
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139 views

Relation between (super)integrability and closed orbits

Inspired by this recent question, I would like to understand from a more general and mathematical perspective why closed orbits are only found for the Kepler ($V(r) \sim 1/r$) or harmonic ($V(r) \sim ...
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127 views

Can spin liquids without spin-rotation and time-reversal symmetries possess nonzero Spin Density Wave (SDW) order parameters?

For those spin liquids with SU(2) spin-rotation symmetry or time-reversal(TR) symmetry , the Spin Density Wave (SDW) order parameters are always zero, say $\left \langle \mathbf{S}_i \right ...
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191 views

Question on conserved quantities and Noether's theorem

I have a question about Noether's theorem in the context of QM, which I'll state in the context of the weak interaction but the basic point could be generalized. According to Noether's theorem, given ...
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260 views

Shouldn't Charge Conjugation be known as “positive/negative frequency symmetry”?

I know that charge conjugation exchanges the creation (or annihilation) operators of the particles with those of the anti-particles and therefore merits the name charge conjugation. However, if ...
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114 views

Hamiltonian form of Noether's Theorem

I understand that Noether's Theorem has a Hamiltonian form, whereby {X, H} = 0 iff {H, X} = 0. The proof of this is trivial, as it follows from the antisymmetry of the Poisson Brackets. First ...
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561 views

What is precisely a Yangian symmetry?

The terms Yangian and Yangian symmetry appear in a list of physical problems (spin chains, Hubbard model, ABJM theory, $\mathcal{N}= 4$ super Yang-Mills in $d=4$, $\mathcal{N}= 8$ SUGRA in $d=4$), ...
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191 views

Boundary currents for Asymptotic Symmetry Group (ASG)

In the context of asymptotic symmetry groups, what is a boundary current? Why is it called a "current"? Context: I'm reading Strominger's recent paper on Asymptotic symmetry group of Yang-Mills ...
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55 views

What is the definition of integrability in the context of surface charges?

In the usual covariant approach to the development of surface charges of an asymptotic symmetry group, one works with the linearized theory as this ensures that the charges are integrable. I also ...
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1answer
533 views

'Easy way' of finding out the Killing vector fields?

Is there a way for calculating the Killing vector fields of a given metric in a quick way? Sure I can guess looking at the metric at the symmetries, and then guess some of them, but, for instance, in ...
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142 views

By saying a physical state has some 'symmetry', what do we really mean?

Here our arguments are restricted to the realm of the Projective Symmetry Group(PSG) proposed by Prof. Wen, Quantum Orders and Symmetric Spin Liquids. Xiao-Gang Wen. Phys. Rev. B 65 no. 16, 165113 ...
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159 views

Symmetry groups [closed]

I am quite new to this subject. I am just repeating in a few words, what I have learned so far: There are 4 fundamental forces of nature: strong, weak, electromagnetism and gravity. Physicists are ...
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347 views

Symmetries & Lie groups in physics

This is not a homework, neither it is any exercise. It is my understanding of $U(1)$ symmetry. I would request if anybody can please correct me on any one of the following understandings: The ...
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444 views

Global phase symmetry for complex scalar field theory

I have started to study QFT. And I have some difficulties in such classical situation. Suppose i want to calculate $\frac{\partial \mathcal{L}}{\partial (\partial_\mu \phi)}\phi$ for lagrangian ...
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220 views

Question about SL(2,Z) duality of string theory/N=4 SYM

$\mathcal N=4$ SYM has an $\mathrm{SL}(2,\mathbb Z)$ duality group. This can be thought of in two ways: 1. This theory can be obtained by compactifying the 6D $\mathcal N=(2,0)$ theory on a torus, ...
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123 views

SL(2,R) to SL(2,Z) in Type IIB String Theory

I heard from Prof. Katrin Becker (in her "SUSY for Strings and Branes - Part 1" lecture) that the classical $SL(2,\mathbb{R})$ symmetry in type IIB String theory becomes $SL(2,\mathbb{Z})$ in Quantum ...
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Scale-invariant differential operator

For example, the differential operator Laplacian is $$\nabla^2 = \frac{\partial^2}{\partial x^2}+\frac{\partial^2}{\partial y^2}.$$ My questions are: Is it scale-invariant? what is ...
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1answer
149 views

Cyclic co-ordinates implying the constant velocity motion of center of mass of a system of particles

I'm reading the section on Central Force in my textbook (Goldstein's Classical Mechanics has a similar argument in the chapter titled "The Central Force Problem", first section), where we have the ...
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What is kappa symmetry?

On page 180 David McMohan explains that to obtain a (spacetime) supersymmetric action for a GS superstring one has to add to the bosonic part $$ S_B = -\frac{1}{2\pi}\int d^2 \sigma ...
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151 views

Different invariant gauge groups (IGG) on different lattices with the same form mean-filed Hamiltonian?

Suppose that we use the Schwinger-fermion ($\mathbf{S_i}=\frac{1}{2}f_i^\dagger\mathbf{\sigma}f_i$) mean-field theory to study the Heisenberg model on 2D lattices, and now we arrive at the mean-field ...
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657 views

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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Does high entropy means low symmetry?

According to Bogolubov postulate (various texts name it differently) in Non-equilibrium thermodynamics, the number of needed parameters to describe our system is decreasing with time, and finally at ...
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279 views

Traceless of stress-energy tensor in $d=2$

This is a question regarding Francesco, section 4.3.3. In this section, he considers the two-point function $$ S_{\mu\nu\rho\sigma}(x) = \left< T_{\mu\nu}(x) T_{\rho\sigma}(0)\right> $$ He then ...
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1answer
153 views

Any use for $F_4$ in hep-th?

In high energy physics, the use of the classical Lie groups are common place, and in the Grand Unification the use of $E_{6,7,8}$ is also common place. In string theory $G_2$ is sometimes utilized, ...
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5answers
3k 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 ...
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348 views

Is there a 1-1 correspondence between symmetry and group theory?

The professor in my class of mathematical physics introduces the definition of groups and said that group theory is the mathematics of symmetry. He gave also some examples of groups such as the set ...
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Questions on Penrose's paper - Conformal Treatment of Infinity

I have several questions. Perhaps it would be better to separate them into different posts. However, given their relative closeness to each other, I think putting it all in one place would be better. ...
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510 views

Why does the classical Noether charge become the quantum symmetry generator?

It is often said that the classical charge $Q$ becomes the quantum generator $X$ after quantization. Indeed this is certainly the case for simple examples of energy and momentum. But why should this ...
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151 views

Conservation of Energy and CP violation

In classical mechanics there is Noether's theorem: If a system has a certain symmetry there is a related conserved quantity. Energy conservation is a result of a system being time invariant. This is ...
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Does the non-relativistic conservation law of particles have an underlying (approximate) symmetry?

In momentum and energy is low enough, we end up with the same number of neutrons, protons and electrons after a collision as before it. This can be considered an approximate conservation law. ...
2
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1answer
384 views

Baryon wave function symmetry

If a baryon wavefunction is $\Psi = \psi_{spatial} \psi_{colour} \psi_{flavour} \psi_{spin}$, and we consider the ground state (L=0) only. We know that the whole thing has to be antisymmetric under ...
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2answers
532 views

Symmetry of Euler-Lagrange equations and conservation laws

Continuous symmetry of the action implies a conservation law, but what if equations of motion have a continuous symmetry? Does it imply a conservation law? Also is symmetry of equations of motion ...
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209 views

Why is the radial direction the preferred one in spherical symmetry?

I am learning about electricity and magnetism by watching MIT video lectures. In the lecture about Gauss's law, while trying to calculate the flux through a sphere with charge in it, the lecturer ...
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QM and Renormalization (layman)

I was reading Michio Kaku's Beyond Einstein. In it, I think, he explains that when physicsts treat a particle as a geometric point they end up with infinity when calculating the strength of the ...
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Ising model Mean field theory and translational invariance

In the Ising model the mean value of any particular spin is: $$ m = \left<s_i\right> = \frac{ \sum_{s_i}e^{-\frac{H}{T} }s_i} { \sum_{s_i} e^{-\frac{H}{T} } } .$$ I read in several ...
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153 views

Renormalization, symmetries and freedom to choose counterterms

I am considering the perturbative renormalization of a simple non-phenomenological QFT with Lagrangian ${\cal L}$ (for scalar fields with multiple generations). I understand that I can renormalize it, ...
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616 views

Spherical charge in two different dielectric materials

I am trying to freshen up my memory about electrical fields and I came across this exercise from school. A sphere with a constantly distributed charge is located in between two different dielectrics ...