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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Gravitational force and potential in infite slab

Let's say that we have an infinite slab of height $2h$ and mass density $\rho$. Let's define $x,y$ as the axis parallel to the slab and $z$ as the perpendicular one, with $z=0$ at the middle of the ...
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504 views

Symmetry arguments for valley physics in graphene with broken inversion

I am trying to understand this paper: http://link.aps.org/doi/10.1103/PhysRevLett.99.236809 (Here is an arXiv version: http://arxiv.org/abs/0709.1274) In the introduction, they mention certain ...
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Noether Theorem and Energy conservation in classical mechanics

I have a problem deriving the conservation of energy from time translation invariance. The invariance of the Lagrangian under infinitesimal time displacements $t \rightarrow t' = t + \epsilon$ can be ...
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1answer
69 views

Transformations of states in quantum mechanics

In Classical Mechanics we usually describe the possible configurations of a system by points on a smooth manifold $M$ which is the configuration manifold of the system. In that case, when we talk ...
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3answers
70 views

Examples of non-linear field symmetries?

Consider a Lagrangian theory of fields $\phi^a(x)$. Sometime such a theory posseses a symmetry (let's talk about internal symmetries for simplicity), which means that the Lagrangian is invariant under ...
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2answers
188 views

Is my understanding of Gauge Symmetries correct?

I'm currently working on a project about Symmetry Breaking for my physics bachelor. Right now I'm trying to understand Gauge Symmetries (although I guess it's not much of a symmetry). And I've been ...
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124 views

How to find symmetry transformations?

For a given Lagrangian $$ {\cal L} = - \frac{1}{4} F_{\mu \nu} F^{\mu\nu} + |D_{\mu} \phi|^2 -V (\phi) $$ with $\phi = \frac{1}{\sqrt{2}} (\phi^1 + i \phi^2)$, there are the infinitesimal local ...
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37 views

Advanced Quantum Mechanics (Galilean transformations)

I have been reading quantum mechanics textbook by Ballentine, and in the third chapter, he says that the eigenvalues of the transformed operator, A', must remain same as those of A. I am confused ...
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44 views

Isotropic of Inertial frame?

My understanding of isotropic is the a particular physics law remain same no matter at what direction I look at it? Now suppose in case of inertial frame, we know that its is homogeneous and ...
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63 views

Lagrangian is isotropic in space

In Landau & Lifshitz Mechanics, while deriving the properties of Lagrangian of a free particle in inertial frame, he uses the following points $:$ As space is homogeneous in inertial frame, a ...
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22 views

Symmetry of retarded R-current correlator in $\mathcal{N}=4$ Super Yang-Mills

The retarded correlator of the R-current $J_\mu$ of $\mathcal{N}=4$ Super Yang-Mills theory is $$ C_{\mu\nu}(x-y)=-i\theta(x^0-y^0)\langle[J_\mu(x),J_\nu(y)]\rangle. $$ In this paper in eq. (2.4), I ...
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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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Can someone give a simple expose on Coleman Mandula theorem and what Mandelstam variables are?

Can someone give a simple expose on Coleman Mandula theorem and what Mandelstam variables are? Coleman-Mandula is often cited as being the key theorem that leads us to consider Supersymmetry for ...
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0answers
27 views

Symmetries, source terms, boundary conditions

If I recall correct you can say that e.g. the electric vectorfield is only a function of the radius if the source terms (charge) is spherical and uniform so that a group action that rotates space ...
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5answers
3k views

Is the converse of Noether's first theorem true: Every conservation law has a symmetry?

Noether's (first) theorem states that any differentiable symmetry of the action of a physical system has a corresponding conservation law. Is the converse true: Any conservation law of a physical ...
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58 views

Strong interaction under $SO(3)$ isospin transformation

I'm given the following strong interaction: $$S = \int d^{4}x [\frac{1}{2} \partial_{\mu} \phi^{a} \partial^{\mu} \phi^{a} - \frac{m^2}{2} \phi^{a} \phi^{a}] ,\qquad a = 1,2,3 \text{.}$$ It is stated ...
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4answers
662 views

What role does “spontaneously symmetry breaking” played in the “Higgs Mechanism”?

In talking about Higgs mechanism, the first part is always some introduction to the concept of spontaneously symmetry breaking (SSB), some people saying that Higgs mechanism is the results of SSB of ...
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10answers
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Is there something similar to Noether's theorem for discrete symmetries?

Noether's theorem states that, for every continuous symmetry of an action, there exists a conserved quantity, e.g. energy conservation for time invariance, charge conservation for $U(1)$. Is there any ...
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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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36 views

Gauss law question with regard to this example

I am really confused in Gauss law. Why do E3 and E2 pointing up? and also E1 pointing down? The lecture note said infer from symmetry and you will get the following but I dont really understand. ...
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4answers
220 views

Translational invariance implying diagonal representation in momentum space

I have just come across something in my reading of Peskin and Schroeder that claims that because a function, in this particular case a two-point correlation function, is translationally invariant, it ...
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1answer
36 views

The elementary particles uniformity and its limits in the context of matter [closed]

We know that matter particles are uniform, i.e. they are absolutely identical (1, 2, 3). Particles of various properties are uniform. But if we look at bigger matter elements, when and how does the ...
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98 views

Help on understanding a concept in Noether's first theorem

Given a Lie group $G$, whose most general transform depends on $\rho$ parameters, under the action of which an integral $I$ is invariant, there are $\rho$ linearly independent combinations of the ...
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1answer
102 views

Galilean invariance/ scale invariance of KPZ

I have problems with understanding what the Galilean invariance of KPZ means and how it is connencted to KPZ scale invariance? How can I see that KPZ is scale invariant? Why this symmetry impose ...
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0answers
18 views

Discrete translational invariance of lattice systems and conserved quantities [duplicate]

Imagine a crystal lattice with discrete translational symmetry. Is there any way to obtain local periodic conserved quantities by taking a derivative (deliberately left abstract)? The discretised ...
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0answers
72 views

Lagrangians not related via a total time derivative lead to same Noether symmetries?

Having answered my initial two questions (v1), I now consider a third possibility. Consider two Lagrangians that both lead to equivalent equations of motion. Suppose that they are not related via a ...
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340 views

Many Body Physics: Hamiltonian block structure and Symmetries

Consider a many body problem of a small cluster, e.g. the 'Hubbard-Cluster' (albeit the question may be of relevance for other Hamiltonians as well): $$\mathcal{H}=\sum_{<ij>\sigma} t_{ij} (c^\...
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112 views

Spin 1/2 wavefunction transformation under inversion and mirror symmetry

I'm considering group-theory applications to condensed matter physics now. In particular I work with the following paper: http://journals.aps.org/pr/pdf/10.1103/PhysRev.100.580 and try to understand ...
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689 views

How to prove a symmetric tensor is indeed a tensor?

Our professor defined a rank $(k,l)$ tensor as something that transforms like a tensor as follows: $$T^{\mu_1' \mu_2'...\mu_k'}{}_{\nu_1'\nu_2'...\nu_l'} ~=~ \Lambda^{\mu_1'}{}_{\mu_1}...\Lambda^{\...
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0answers
34 views

C, P and T for Klein-Gordon Field

Taking transformation of Klein-gordon field under C, P and T as $$\phi_{p}(t,r)= \exp(i \alpha_{p}) \phi (t,-r)\ ,$$ $$\phi_{c}(t,r)= \exp(i \alpha_{c}) \phi^\dagger (t,r)\ ,$$ $$ \phi_{T}(t,r)= \...
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1answer
78 views

Work out components $F^{01}$ and $F^{ij}$ of the antisymmetric tensor $F^{\mu\nu}$ under the Lorentz Transform [closed]

Work out explicitly how the components $F^{0i}$ and $F^{ij}$ of the antysymmetric tensor $F^{\mu\nu}$ introduced in chapter I.6 transform under a Lorentz transformation This problem is from Zee, ...
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2answers
386 views

When I take a Gaussian surface inside an insulating solid sphere, why does the outer volume have no effect on the electric field?

Say I try to find the magnitude of the electric field at any point within an insulating solid sphere. I know that in the case of a conductor, the electric field within it is 0. However, I have not ...
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80 views

Bondi-Metzner-Sachs (BMS) related Question(s)

I started studying the BMS group in connection with the set of papers by A. Strominger et al., also related with the supposed solution of the "Black Hole Information Paradox" by S. W. Hawking http://...
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1answer
83 views

Is there a systematic way to obtain all conserved quantities of a system?

I'd like to know whether, given a system, there's a way to obtain all the conserved quantities. For instance if the system consists of electric and magnetic fields, the fields must satisfy Maxwell's ...
13
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1answer
206 views

Highest symmetric non-maximally symmetric spacetime

What is the highest number of symmetries (Killing vectors) that a (4-dimensional) spacetime can have without being maximally symmetric? From what I can see, it seems to be 7 (which includes the ...
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3answers
2k views

Definitions and usage of Covariant, Form-invariant & Invariant?

Just wondering about the definitions and usage of these three terms. To my understanding so far, "covariant" and "form-invariant" are used when referring to physical laws, and these words are ...
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1answer
198 views

Difference between symmetry and invariance

I'm wondering what's the real difference between symmetry and invariance in Physics? I believe that sometimes the two words are given the same meaning and some other times they are used in a different ...
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287 views

Scalar and vector defined by transformation properties

In Classical Mechanics, we are defining scalars as objects that are invariant under any coordinate transformation. Vectors are defined as objects that can be transformed by some transformation matrix $...
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Symmetry in resistor circuits

Given 6 points that are connected with each other with a resistor of resistance $R$, find the resistance between any two points. (Answer: $R/3$) (All the conducting wires have the same ...
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1answer
56 views

Identical particles: Why only two possibilities?

Given two identical particles, Wikipedia says that the wavefunction of a combined system where the first particle is in state $|n_1\rangle$ and the other one is in $|n_2\rangle$ is $|\psi\rangle=|n_1\...
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1answer
87 views

In field theory, why are some symmetry transformations applied to the field values while other act on the space that the fields are defined on?

My basic understanding is that a field theory consists of symmetry groups, a space $S$ that the symmetry groups act on and of fields defined on that space $S$. In other words, the space $S$ is the ...
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5answers
163 views

Flux of $E$ through the shaded side

A charge $q$ sits at the back corner of a cube, as shown in Figure. What is the flux of $E$ through the shaded side? One of the solution stated that. Looking at the figure, we notice two things: ...
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197 views

Permutation symmetry - a continuous symmetry?

From quantum mechanics it is known that permutation between identical particles does not change the Hamiltonian. Assuming that the quantum system consists of a very high number of particles such that ...
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3answers
35k views

What is difference between homogeneous vs isotropic material?

When we say a material is isotropic? When properties such as density, Young's modulus etc. are same in all directions. If these properties are direction dependent, then we can say that the material is ...
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0answers
66 views

Using the Mirror Rule to determine the magnetic field of an infinite slab

Consider a slab infinite in the y and z direction but with finite width W in the x direction. Current flows in the (+y) direction. I'm supposed to use the "mirror rule" to show that at a point in the (...
5
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189 views

Why does physics have so many symmetries?

I have just found out that in order to modify mass in his special theory of relativity, Einstein assumed that energy and momentum are always conserved.$^\dagger$ I think surely there are other ways to ...
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541 views

Seeking a quality plain-language description of the Wigner-Eckart theorem

I'm a third year physics undergrad with a very cursory knowledge of quantum mechanics and the formalism involved. For instance, I understand roughly how tensors work and what it means for a tensor to ...
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2answers
371 views

Symmetries of a Uniform Magnetic Field

Simple question. A system with a uniform electric field everywhere in space has translational invariance in the directions perpendicular to the electric field but no translational invariance parallel ...
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1answer
121 views

Canonical spinors from gauge transformations

In this 2006 paper, http://arxiv.org/abs/hep-th/0610128, there is the concept of gauge transformation and how was it employed that I do not fully understand. Note, what will be talked about below is ...
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1answer
74 views

What is meant by invariant under change of coordinates **to first order**?

I am studying elementary Lagrangian mechanics, and I'm a bit confused about the what's meant by invariance of the Lagrangian under change of coordinates to first order. More specifically, Noether's ...