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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Axis of reflection in a mirror [duplicate]

When I look at my reflection in a planar mirror, the image I see is reflected about a vertical axis. Why is it this axis and not the horizontal axis?
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158 views

Are conformal, Killing and homothetic vector fields the same in pseudo-riemannian manifolds?

I work in the Lorentzian manifolds, more generally in pseudo Riemannian manifolds and applications to general relativity. I know the definitions of conformal, Killing and homothetic vector fields in ...
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187 views

Relation between symmetries and Killing vectors by Weinberg

In his book, "Gravity and Cosmology", Weinberg talks about relations between homogeneous metric spaces and Klling vectors. First he says about infinitesimal isometrics $$ x^{\alpha}{'} = x^{\alpha} + ...
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Symmetry of wave pulse

How can one decide whether a wave pulse is symmetrical by looking at its equation? $$y(x,t)=\frac{0.8}{[4x+5t]^2} $$ represents a moving pulse will it be symmetric?
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99 views

What if the kinetic energy of a particle was some other function $f(v)$?

This is a "what if this was how the universe worked" kind of question. I don't know if those belong in Physics StackExchange, and I apologize if they don't. Suppose we have two reference frames ...
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79 views

Noether's theorem for more interesting transformations of the time co-ordinate

According to Wikipedia, Noether's theorem (for the mechanics of a point particle) says that if the following transformation is a symmetry of the Lagrangian $$t \to t + \epsilon T$$ $$q \to q + ...
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294 views

Noether's theorem and time-dependent Lagrangians

Noether's theorem says that if the following transformation is a symmetry of the Lagrangian $t \to t + \epsilon T$ $q \to q + \epsilon Q$ Then the following quantity is conserved $\left( ...
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What groups of symmetry are most suited for filling uniformely a spherical 3D space, whilst possessing the lowest possible surface-to-volume ratio?

I am looking for the closest known approximate solution to Kelvin foams problem that would obey a spherical symmetry. One alternative way of formulating it: I am looking for an equivalent of ...
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160 views

Is it possible to determine the universality class of phase transitions by just analysing symmetry?

Since phase transition is closely connected with symmetry, I am wondering whether it is possible to determine the universality class of phase transitions just by symmetry? Actually, I found it is ...
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What is the symmetry which is responsible for conservation of mass?

According to Noether's theorem, all conservation laws originate from invariance of a system to shifts in a certain space. For example conservation of energy stems from invariance to time translation. ...
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426 views

Is Conformal Symmetry Local or Global?

I'm just brushing up on a bit of CFT, and I'm trying to understand whether conformal symmetry is local or global in the physics sense. Obviously when the metric is viewed as dynamical then the ...
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1answer
189 views

How does the electron electric dipole moment (EDM) depend on supersymmetry?

I have read a recent paper that says that limit on the EDM of the electron has now been measured to 12 times better accuracy. According to that paper, as I understood, there should be a difference in ...
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527 views

Groups acting on physics - a clarification on electrons and spin

My first question is fairly basic, but I would like to clarify my understanding. The second question is to turn this into something worth answering. Consider a relativistic electron, described by a ...
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3answers
149 views

Do algorithms have an intrinsic time direction?

This article says There is no intrinsic time direction in Newton's mechanics nor in the differential equations of the new physics. My question is, do other types of mathematics, say a cellular ...
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163 views

Symmetries of relativistic Lagrangian and Hamiltonian systems

In non-relativistic mechanics, the conserved quantities found using Noethers theorem in Lagrangian mechanics are the same as those quantities which are conserved under canonical commutation with the ...
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497 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 ...
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1answer
168 views

Why does total spin conservation law forbid the spin wave gap in Heisenberg magnets?

What is the explanation for total spin conservation forbidding the spin wave gap in Heisenberg magnets?
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224 views

Is the spin-singlet state also a Resonating-Valence-Bond(RVB) state?

The spin-singlet state of a lattice spin-1/2 system is defined as $S_x\Psi=S_y\Psi=S_z\Psi=0$, where $S_\alpha=\sum S_i^\alpha(\alpha=x,y,z)$ are the total spin operators, in other words, a ...
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Why does $\ell=0$ correspond to spherically symmetric solutions for the spherical harmonics?

In quantum mechanics why do states with $\ell=0$ in the Hydrogen atom correspond to spherically symmetric spherical harmonics?
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1answer
701 views

Why there is a flat band for Kagome lattice?

For the nearest neighbor hopping model on the Kagome lattice, there is a flat band among the three energy bands. Is there some reason, such as symmetry or the special structure of the model, to ...
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3k views

Definite Parity of Solutions to a Schrödinger Equation with even Potential?

I am reading up on the Schrödinger equation and I quote: Because the potential is symmetric under $x\to-x$, we expect that there will be solutions of definite parity. Could someone kindly ...
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1answer
100 views

What is the nucleon axial charge?

Can someone point me to a short definition of what the nucleon axial charge is?
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2answers
517 views

How can one see that the Hydrogen atom has $SO(4)$ symmetry?

For solving hydrogen atom energy level by $SO(4)$ symmetry, where does the symmetry come from? How can one see it directly from the Hamiltonian?
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2answers
400 views

Coulomb gauge fixing and “normalizability”

The Setup Let Greek indices be summed over $0,1,\dots, d$ and Latin indices over $1,2,\dots, d$. Consider a vector potential $A_\mu$ on $\mathbb R^{d,1}$ defined to gauge transform as $$ A_\mu\to ...
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117 views

How to show that value is conserved along geodesics?

Let's have the motion of charged particle in a field of Reissner-type black hole. The equation of motion looks like $$ \frac{d^{2}x^{\mu}}{d \tau^{2}} + \Gamma^{\mu}_{\nu \lambda}\frac{dx^{\nu}}{d ...
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102 views

What are the Generators of the electroweak interaction after symmetry breaking. (SM)

In the standard model (omitting the QCD part), we start off with the set of generators $T_1$, $T_2$, $T_3$, $Y$ for the four-parametric gauge group $SU(2)_L \times U(1)_Y$. We then define a new ...
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774 views

Explicit time dependence of the Lagrangian and Energy Conservation

Why is energy(or in more general terms,the Hamiltonian) not conserved when the Lagrangian has an explicit time dependence? I know that we can derive the identity: $\frac{\partial ...
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2answers
271 views

Why does the $\pi$-flux state have time-reversal symmetry?

It's known that the $\pi$-flux state of the antiferromagnetic Heisenberg model on the square lattice is an important concept. The $\pi$-flux state is described by the (simplified) mean-field ...
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571 views

Explaining chirality for spin 1/2 particle

I found the following explanation for chirality for spin 1/2 particles here What happens when you rotate a left- vs right-chiral fermion 360 degree about its direction of motion. Both ...
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1k views

Emergent symmetries

As we know, spontaneous symmetry breaking(SSB) is a very important concept in physics. Loosely speaking, zero temprature SSB says that the Hamiltonian of a quantum system has some symmetry, but the ...
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Elegant approaches to quantum field theory

I have been reading Quantum Mechanics: A Modern Development by L. Ballentine. I like the way everything is deduced starting from symmetry principles. I was wondering if anyone familiar with the book ...
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155 views

Symmetry transformation in AdS space

In AdS/CFT papers the action of the SO(D,2) symmetry is usually given at the boundary where the transformations are just the conformal transformations (Poincare, scaling and special) for D+1 ...
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1answer
192 views

A commutation problem in Hubbard model

Does the Hubbard Hamiltonian $$H=-t\sum_{\langle ij\rangle \sigma}c_{i\sigma}^{\dagger}c_{j\sigma}+h.c.+U\sum_{i}n_{i\uparrow}n_{i\downarrow}$$ commute with $\sum_{i}\mathbf{S}_i^2$? where ...
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3k views

Lorentz and Galilean transformation

I read about Lorentz and Galilean transformation in a book of modern physics some days back, but couldn't clearly understand the difference between the two? Also it was stated there that maxwell's ...
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1answer
370 views

Symmetry and conservation laws related to baryon number, lepton number and strangeness

According to Noether's theorem, Every continuous symmetry of the action leads to a conservation law. For example, conservation of linear momentum corresponds to translational symmetry, conservation ...
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260 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 ...
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Linearized gravity and symmetries

I have naive question. When we analyzing weak gravity field we introduce expression for metric tensor as $$ g_{\mu \nu} = \eta_{\mu \nu} + h_{\mu \nu}, \quad \eta_{\mu \nu} = diag(1, -1, -1, -1), ...
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83 views

How do we know that weak isospin is an exact symmetry while strong isospin is not?

It is said in textbooks that if the $SU(2)_f$ or $SU(3)_f$ flavor symmetry were exact for sstrong isospin, then all members of the multiplets would be exactly equally massive. By looking at quark ...
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548 views

What is the definition of particle-hole symmetry in condensed matter physics?

People often talk about particle-hole symmetry in solid state physics. What are the exact definition and physics picture of particle-hole symmetry? How to define the density of particles and holes?
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507 views

Killing vectors for 2-sphere as generators of $SO(3)$ symmetry

How to get Killing vectors in a form of generators of $SO(3)$ group symmetry? By using Killing equations for metric $ds^{2} = d\theta^{2} + \sin^{2}(\theta^{2}) d\varphi^{2}$ I got $$ ...
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1answer
412 views

Do spin-spin interactions break time reversal symmetry?

I'm sure the answer is yes, but how is this shown? Normally for a single spin-1/2 you have a time reversal operator: $-i \sigma_y \hat{K}$ where $\sigma_y$ is the second Pauli matrix and $\hat{K}$ is ...
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What does the term 'a uniform RVB spin-liquid state' mean?

I encountered this term a uniform RVB spin-liquid state in some articles, for example, see the paragraph under Eq.(29) on page 9 in this paper. What does the word 'uniform ' mean? Simply from the ...
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1answer
237 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 ...
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164 views

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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172 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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1answer
218 views

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
454 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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171 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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139 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
141 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 ...