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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344 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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0answers
129 views

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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2answers
454 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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2answers
139 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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1answer
94 views

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. ...
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1answer
360 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
458 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 ...
3
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2answers
201 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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4answers
1k views

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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1answer
175 views

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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0answers
144 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, ...
4
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2answers
567 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 ...
2
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1answer
67 views

Why is it not possible to distinguish left from right by means of a coil?

Why is it not possible to explain to an alien "at the phone" which side is left and which is the right side by defining a simple experimental setup using induction? Defining for instance downwards ...
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4answers
1k 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
156 views

What is the invariant associated with the symmetry of boosts? [duplicate]

Noether's Theorem states that if a Lagrangian is symmetric for a certain transformation, this leads to an invariant: Symmetry of translation gives momentum conservation, Symmetry of time gives Energy ...
2
votes
2answers
178 views

$\left(H^\dagger H\right)^2$ is invariant under $U(1)\times SU(2)$?

Is it true that $\left(H^\dagger H\right)^2$ is invariant under $U\left(1\right) \times SU\left(2\right)$ where $H$ is the Higgs field $(1,2,1/2)$? Does this invariance imply that its hypercharge ...
3
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1answer
453 views

What physical significance has the Heisenberg Group?

I read that the canonical commutation relation between momentum and position can be seen as the Lie Algebra of the Heisenberg group. While I get why the commutation relations of momentum and momentum, ...
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3answers
412 views

Is hydrogen the same everywhere?

Silly thought. Feel free to shoot it down Does a hydrogen atom undergo any kind of change subject to it's environment? If one were to study a hydrogen atom on the surface of Mercury, another above ...
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1answer
172 views

Theoretical considerations on the conservation of energy and the conservation of linear momentum

I report to you an interesting excerpt from my Physics book. It is an Italian version, so I apologize in advance, as I'm sure I won't give proper justice to its beauty in the translation as the ...
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2answers
929 views

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 ...
2
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2answers
168 views

A kind of Noether's theorem for the Hamiltonian

How can I (conveniently?) show that an invariance of the Lagrangian and Hamiltonian (i.e. the kinetic as well as the potential energy are independently invariant) will lead to a conservation law using ...
3
votes
1answer
137 views

Gravitational field v.s. Physical variable?

I went to a talk on Newtonian mechanics some time earlier and the speaker said, and I quote, Newton's equations of motion admit a larger symmetry group than the Galilean group alone. Therefore, ...
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0answers
95 views

Spontaneous symmetry breaking by axions?

I am just reading at the beginnin of this nice article, that axions could be responsible for spontaneously breaking of a symmetry in the early universe. Does anybody know which symmetry is alluded to ...
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1answer
178 views

Symmetry of 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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2answers
609 views

Lorentz invariance of the 3 + 1 decomposition of spacetime

Why is allowed decompose the spacetime metric into a spatial part + temporal part like this for example $$ds^2 ~=~ (-N^2 + N_aN^a)dt^2 + 2N_adtdx^a + q_{ab}dx^adx^b$$ ($N$ is called lapse, $N_a$ is ...
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1answer
499 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 ...
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1answer
116 views

Energy-momentum conservation without translation symmetry?

As I checked, the energy-momentum tensor defined as ${T^\mu}_\nu=\frac{\partial {\cal L}}{\partial(\partial_\mu \phi)}\partial_\nu \phi-{\cal L}{\delta^\mu}_\nu$ at the solution $\phi$ of equation of ...
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374 views

Symmetrizing the Canonical Energy-Momentum Tensor

The Canonical energy momentum tensor is given by $$T_{\mu\nu} = \frac{\delta {\cal L}}{\delta (\partial^\mu \phi_s)} \partial_\nu \phi_s - g_{\mu\nu} {\cal L} $$ A priori, there is no reason to ...
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2answers
339 views

Conformal Compactification of spacetime

I have been reading Penrose's paper titled "Relativistic Symmetry Groups" where the concept of conformal compactification of a space-time is discussed. My other references have been this and this. In ...
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1answer
127 views

Dimensional transmutation in Gross-Neveu vs others

Firstly I don't know how generic is dimensional transmutation and if it has any general model independent definition. Is dimensional transmutation in Gross-Neveau somehow fundamentally different ...
2
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0answers
210 views

Tree level and loop level

I'm trying to read through a paper which explains the following about Universal Extra Dimensions (UED) vs ADD models: The new feature of the UED scenario compared to the brane world is that ...
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0answers
57 views

Global part of a local symmetry?

What is exactly meant by "Global part of a Local symmetry"? What are its implications on a field theory at classical level? What are its implications at quantum level? How is it related to symmetry ...
2
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3answers
3k views

What are the applications of Gauss's law in technology? [closed]

Freshmen physics textbooks use Gauss's law plus symmetry to calculate the electric field. I was wondering if this method of finding the electric field using a symmetry is used in real applications in ...
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5answers
1k views

Noether charge of local symmetries

If our Lagrangian is invariant under a local symmetry, then, by simply restricting our local symmetry to the case in which the transformation is constant over space-time, we obtain a global symmetry, ...
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1answer
511 views

What is the difference between scale invariance and self-similarity?

I always thought that these two terms are some kind of synonyms, meaning that if you have a self-similar or scale invariant system, you can zoom in or out as you like and you will always see the same ...
12
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1answer
150 views

Are possible gauge fields in a Lagrangian theory always determined by the structure of the charged degrees of freedom?

An elementary example to explain what I mean. Consider introducing a classical point particle with a Lagrangian $L(\mathbf{q} ,\dot{\mathbf{q}}, t)$. The most general gauge transformation is $L ...
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2answers
799 views

Deriving the action and the Lagrangian for a free point particle in Special Relativity

My question relates to Landau & Lifshitz, Classical Theory of Field, Chapter 2: Relativistic Mechanics, Paragraph 8: The principle of least action. As stated there, to determine the action ...
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3answers
2k views

Galilean invariance of Lagrangian for non-relativistic free point particle?

In QFT, the Lagrangian density is explicitly constructed to be Lorentz-invariant from the beginning. However the Lagrangian $$L = \frac{1}{2} mv^2$$ for a non-relativistic free point particle is ...
4
votes
1answer
115 views

“WLOG” re Schwarzschild geodesics

Why, when studying geodesics in the Schwarzschild metric, one can WLOG set $$\theta=\frac{\pi}{2}$$ to be equatorial? I assume it is so because when digging around the internet, most references seem ...
3
votes
2answers
285 views

Any example of lower symmetry in high temperature phase than the low temperature phase?

All the phase transition cases I came across so far have this property: the lower temperature phase has lower symmetry than the higher temperature one. But it is nowhere explicitly said that, lower ...
3
votes
1answer
732 views

Why we call the ground state of Kitaev model a Spin Liquid?

Now we always talk about the so-called Kitaev spin liquid. One important property of spin liquid is global spin rotation symmetry. Let $\Psi$ represents a spin ground state, if $\Psi$ has global spin ...
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1answer
249 views

Precise statement of Mermin–Wagner theorem

Roughly speaking, Mermin-Wagner theorem states that continuous symmetries cannot be spontaneously broken at finite temperature in systems with sufficiently short-range interactions in dimensions ...
4
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100 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 ...
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210 views

Some questions about the edge states for time-reversal invariant topological superconductors?

Stimulated by my some recent calculations on edge states(ES) for time-reversal invariant(TRI) topological superconductors(TS) as well as many questions concerning the "edge states" in Physics ...
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1answer
105 views

Topological vs. non-topological noetherian charges

What (if any) is the relationship between the conserved (non-topological) noetherian charges and topological charges? Namely, is there any "generalization" of the Noether's first theorem that includes ...
0
votes
1answer
52 views

Diagonal matrix in k-space

I'm having some trouble with an integration I hope you guys can help me with. I have that: ${{\mathbf{v}}_{i}}\left( \mathbf{k} \right)=\frac{\hbar {{\mathbf{k}}_{i}}}{m}$ and ...
5
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1answer
100 views

Gauging discrete symmetries

I read somewhere what performing an orbifolding (i.e. imposing a discrete symmetry on what would otherwise be a compactification torus) is equivalent to "gauging the discrete symmetry". Can anybody ...
3
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1answer
196 views

Possible states for two electrons in the helium atom

Consider the helium atom with two electrons, but ignore coupling of angular momenta, relativistic effects, etc. The spin state of the system is a combination of the triplet states and the singlet ...
3
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2answers
445 views

What is the ontological status of Faddeev Popov ghosts?

We all know Faddeev-Popov ghosts are needed in manifestly Lorentz covariant nonabelian quantum gauge theories. We also all know they decouple from the rest of matter asymptotically, although they ...
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103 views

A general wavefunction in a square lattice

Suppose we have a square lattice with periodic condition in both $x$ and $y$ direction with four atoms per unit cell, the configuration of the four atoms has $C_4$ symmetry. What will be a general ...