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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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
172 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 ...
4
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3answers
272 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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4answers
3k views

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
53 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 ...
37
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1answer
3k views

Classical and quantum anomalies

I have read about anomalies in different contexts and ways. I would like to read an explanation that unified all these statements or points of view: Anomalies are due to the fact that quantum field ...
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1answer
84 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
135 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 ...
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1answer
170 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 ...
8
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3answers
32k 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
63 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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0answers
186 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 ...
9
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5answers
525 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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1answer
103 views

Representation of U(1) on fock space

I am currently reading up on the use of group theory in physics using Peter Woit's book draft (available on his homepage). I do understand the mathematical concepts but have a bit of a problem making ...
2
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2answers
353 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 ...
1
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1answer
118 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
71 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 ...
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0answers
99 views

Parity of $n$-photon system

The $C$-parity (charge conjugation) of an $n$-photon system is given by $(-1)^n$. If I'm not totally wrong, the intrinsic parity of a photon is $(-1)$. What is the parity $P$ of a system of $n$ ...
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3answers
120 views

Formulating the Lagrangian in terms of invariant quantities

Consider a closed system consisting of $N$ point particles, whose Lagrangian is given in the standard way, by the total kinetic energy minus the potential energy: $\mathcal{L}(\dot{q},q):= T(\dot{q}) ...
2
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0answers
49 views

How is translational symmetry related to Fourier decomposition?

The book (The Cosmic Microwave Background By Ruth Durrer) about cosmological perturbations says that because of translational symmetry of the background at a constant time, we can decompose our ...
4
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2answers
113 views

Noether's theorem: meaning of transformation of coordinates

I have a question regarding Noether's theorem. In our introductory QFT class (which is based on the book by Michele Maggiore) we have derived the Noether currents in the same form as displayed in this ...
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1answer
45 views

Are the mass matrices the same if Higgs corresponding to different Cartan generators get a vev?

I'm trying to understand what happens when a Higgs field in the adjoint representation of a given gauge group gets a vacuum expecation value (vev). Normally, the fermions do not couple to adjoint ...
9
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2answers
1k views

Why is the stress-energy tensor symmetric?

The relativistic stress-energy tensor $T$ is important in both special and general relativity. Why is it symmetric, with $T_{\mu\nu}=T_{\nu\mu}$? As a secondary question, how does this relate to the ...
4
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0answers
78 views

Target Space Lorentz Invariance vs. World Sheet Weyl Invariance

The Polyakov action, $S\sim \int d^2\sigma\sqrt{\gamma}\, \gamma_{ab}\partial^a X^\mu \partial ^b X_\mu$, has the well known classical symmetries of world sheet diffeomorphism invariance, world ...
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1answer
652 views

Lack of symmetry of the canonical stress-energy tensor

Why in the general case of classical field theory canonical stress-energy tensor doesn't have symmetry of the permutation of the indices? For explanation, let's have a "derivation" of an expression ...
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1answer
124 views

From Noether's theorem to canonical Energy-Momentum tensor using translations

In this text that I am reading it says that the transformation $\delta \phi(x)$ is a symmetry if the Lagrangian changes by a total derivative: $$\delta \mathcal{L}= \partial_{\mu}F^{\mu} . $$ From ...
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0answers
53 views

Resource for (String) Symmetry Breaking in Terms of Roots and Weights?

I'm currently searching, for quite a while now, for a paper/book that discusses symmetry breaking in terms of roots and weights. Any suggestions would be much appreciated!
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1answer
47 views

How can crystal symmetry operations be used to reduce the number of unique properties of a solid?

Can anyone please give an example or a reference which shows how crystal point groups and symmetry operations can be used to reduce the number of parameters describing the property of a crystal, ...
0
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4answers
895 views

Why, when and where is Gauss's law applicable?

Why is it said that Gauss's Law is mainly applicable for symmetric surfaces/bodies? Why not for asymmetric surfaces? I want a logical explanation! BTW my teacher said that Gauss's law is ...
3
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2answers
171 views

Ricci flat compact manifold with $U(1)\times{}SU(2)\times{}SU(3)$ isometry group?

As the title says, is it possible to have a Riemannian Ricci flat compact manifold with $U(1)\times{}SU(2)\times{}SU(3) $ isometry group?
3
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1answer
339 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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3answers
2k views

Can someone explain LO-TO Splitting?

LO-TO splitting occurs in an ionic (i.e. polar) solid such as GaAs or NaCl. What happens is that the degeneracy of the transverse optical (TO) and longitudinal optical (LO) phonons at $k=0$ is broken ...
4
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1answer
227 views

What does Lee Smolin mean when he says that the most fundamental theory can have no symmetries?

Quote from Lee Smolin in Scientific American: There are some lazy ideas about unification that reflect uncritical thinking, such as the idea that the more fundamental a phenomena [sic] is the more ...
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0answers
108 views

Symmetry considerations in Plane Poiseuille Flow

I'm taking a first course on fluid dynamics, and I have this (sort of) conceptual question that's been nagging me for a moment now. I can completely follow the mathematics behind the derivation of the ...
2
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1answer
117 views

Symmetry of extrinsic curvature tensor

I am trying to solve following problem: In a spacetime of signature (+, −, −, −), let $$ u^au_a = 1, \quad A_{ab} = \nabla_cu_dh^c_{\; a}h^d_{\; b}, \quad h_{ab} = g_{ab} - u_au_b $$ Show that ...
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1answer
20 views

How to experimentally identify the exposed face of a crystal?

After depositing a material (e.g, TiO2) on a substrate, what methods can I use to check whether the material is crystalline, and what face (e.g, 001, 101, etc..) of the crystal is exposed?
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0answers
98 views

Degenaracy in mass of $8$ and $27$ reps of $SU(3)$ in Coleman's Aspects of Symmetry [closed]

In Coleman's Aspect of symmetry he proposes an amusing problem in the first chapter. It asks us to consider a set of eight pseudo-scalar fields transforming in the adjoint representation of $SU(3)$. ...
2
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1answer
77 views

Symmetry axis and products of inertia

So if we have an object that has a symmetry axis let us say $z$-axis is a symmetry axis does this mean that the product of inertia $I_{zx} = I_{zy} = 0$? And if that is true why is it true ...
6
votes
2answers
188 views

In QFT how do you write down the most general interactions?

This past year I took a QFT class and I now feel comfortable solving scattering problems, but I am still a bit perplexed by how physicists write down a Lagrangian in the first place. In particular, ...
2
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1answer
188 views

Does isotropy imply homogeneity?

This question comes from exercise 27.1 in Gravitation by Misner, Thorne and Wheeler. They required the following: Use elementary thought experiments to show that isotropy of the universe implies ...
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0answers
46 views

A question about a consequence of symmetry in $\phi^4$ theory

Why does the symmetry $\phi→-\phi$ mean that an amplitude can be written as $\alpha+\beta p^2+\gamma p^4+...$ without the odd terms in $p$? I understand that, due to this symmetry, any diagram in ...
1
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3answers
3k views

Symmetric potential and the commutator of parity and Hamiltonian

In one dimension - How can one prove that the Hamiltonian and the parity operator commute in the case where the potential is symmetric (an even function)? i.e. that $[H, P] = 0$ for $V(x)=V(-x)$
2
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1answer
119 views

Conserved quantity corresponding to reflection symmetry

I know about Noether's theorem, but I don't actually know how to use it myself. Suppose our universe were symmetric with respect to reflections about planes. What conserved quantity would then exist ...
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2answers
96 views

“Rotating any system of charges causes a corresponding rotation of the electric field.”- What is the proof?

While I was reading 'symmetry' from wikipedia, then I came to this statement: ...For example, an electric field due to a wire is said to exhibit cylindrical symmetry, because the electric field ...
2
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2answers
257 views

What is meant by “unique direction” in most of the arguments in application of Gauss' Law?

This term is really bothering me a lot. While explaining the radial direction of electric field of a uniformly charged sphere, my book writes: Notice the use of argument of symmetry. There is no ...
6
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4answers
115 views

Energy conservation without action principle?

The normal tagline for energy conservation is that it's a conserved quantity associated to time-translation invariance. I understand how this works for theories coming from a Lagrangian, and that this ...
1
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1answer
114 views

What are the symmetry criteria for continuous phase transitions in Landau theory?

My understanding is that within Landau theory, a continuous phase transition is only possible if certain symmetry rules are satisfied. (These rules represent necessary but not sufficient conditions ...
3
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2answers
164 views

Derivation of law of inertia from Lagrangian method (Landau)

I'm reading Landau's Book. He tries to conclude the law of inertia from the Lagrange equations. For that, he argues (by nice suppositions about space and time), that the lagrangian must depend only ...
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1answer
149 views

How is the Full Standard Model group representation displayed?

I have often seen, on YouTube lectures and textbooks, the direct product gauge group representation listed below and it is often accompanied with a statement to the effect that "this is how we sum ...
5
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0answers
157 views

Categorizing solutions to Hierarchy problem

We know that no gauge symmetry can prevent a term $m_\phi^2|\phi|^2$ for a scalar field, and that, given the quadratic loop corrections, the natural scale is $m_\phi \sim M_P$. This is related to the ...