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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Maxwell equations and symmetry

Do the full inhomogeneous Maxwell equations obey parity (P) and time reversal (T) symmetry separately or only the full CPT symmetry? I believe the homogeneous Maxwell equations obey parity and time ...
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Lepton number conservation and global phase transformation

Why the lepton number conservation is connected with the invariance of the lagrangian under global phase (U(1)) transformation of the wave function? How to distinguish global gauge phase and global ...
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294 views

Must every isometry have an associated Killing vector?

I understand that the flows of Killing vector fields are isometries, and that one-parameter groups of isometries have an associated Killing vector which generates them, but are your Killing vectors ...
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137 views

Noether Charge For Scalar Fields Under Lorentz Transformations

The conserved charge associated with the Lorentz transfomation of a scalar field is given by $Q^{\alpha\beta}=\int d^3x\frac{1}{2}(x^\alpha T^{0\beta}-x^\beta T^{0\alpha})$. The quantities $Q^{ij}$ is ...
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48 views

Implementing a transformation as $UaU$ and not $UaU^{-1}$?

I know one associates to each symmetry transformation a unitary/antiunitary operater...etc. But equation 3.123 in Peskin and Schroeder (PS) says that parity is implemented as $(\mathbf{p}$ is the ...
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158 views

A question about Lorentz invariance of the Polyakov action

I have a super basic and stupid question about the Lorentz invariance of the Polyakov action (cannot skip the disclaimer..) $$S_p[X,\gamma]=-\frac{1}{4 \pi \alpha'} \int_{-\infty}^{\infty} d \tau ...
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1answer
116 views

Does action really have to be Lorentz-invariant in SR?

From Landau & Lifshitz The Classical Theory Of Fields it is said: To determine the action integral for a free material particle (a particle not under the influence of any external force), we ...
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2answers
266 views

Emmy Noether's theorem in simpler terms

I'd like to understand Noether's theorem and its contents as to what it implies in a bit simpler terms. I am familiar with mathematics unto Calculus 1,2,3 and some linear algebra and group theory. I ...
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3answers
208 views

Defining left and right independent of a human body?

Is it possible to define right and left independent of the asymmetric human body? I am unable to think of such a definition without circular reasoning. Example: If you are facing east, your left ...
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270 views

Quantum Anomalies in Non-Gauge Theories?

I'm reading about quantum anomalies in QFT and all the examples seem to arise in gauge theories. Is it true that theories without a local gauge invariance don't have quantum anomalies? I can't think ...
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344 views

Difference between $SU(2)$ and $SU(2)$ gauge transformations?

I hear this jargon all the time, so what is the difference? (Of course this is nothing special to $SU(2)$, but rather I just took it as an example)
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79 views

Symmetry of Minkowksi Metric -> Conserved Current?

My understanding of the Minkowski Metric is that we have the freedom to choose whether to place the negative sign on the time-component or on the spatial-components. That is, either basis should ...
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1answer
280 views

Overview and doubts about Bloch's theorem and the concept of partial density of states

So I have a large confusion with QM as applied to solid state. The following is a summary of what I know, what I think I know, and what I know I don't know. I hope to stir a discussion that will help ...
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164 views

Symmetry, Transformations and non-linear transformations

I am a physics student. My mathematical background is quite weak. I just want to know the similarities (if there are any) or differences between coordinate transformation of two kinds : Rotation of ...
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509 views

Motivation for preservation of spacetime volume by Lorentz transformation?

My favorite way of deriving the Lorentz transformation is to start from symmetry principles (an approach originated in Ignatowsky 1911; cf. Pal 2003), and one of my steps is to prove a lemma stating ...
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32 views

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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163 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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192 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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86 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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306 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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165 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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440 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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198 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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530 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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166 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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503 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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170 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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229 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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243 views

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
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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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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
108 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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540 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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401 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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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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107 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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827 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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276 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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609 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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158 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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195 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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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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386 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 ...