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.

learn more… | top users | synonyms

7
votes
1answer
190 views

Symmetries in physics

Can you explain me some of the mathematical details of such concept as symmetries? In physics, we have some manifold, and fields are functions on this manifold. On the one hand, we have symmetries of ...
1
vote
2answers
81 views

Alternative symmetries for the Maxwell Lagrangian?

I'm wondering about how to show that $A_a\rightarrow A_a+\alpha\partial_0A_a$, with $\alpha$ infinitesimal, is an infinitesimal symmetry of $\mathcal L=-\frac14F_{ab}F^{ab}$. \begin{equation} ...
4
votes
1answer
153 views

Symmetry and Degeneracy of Free Particles

Consider the hamiltonian $H=\frac{p_x^2}{2m}$ in 1-D. It is invariant under $p_x \rightarrow -p_x$. Again, this hamiltonian also has translational symmetry. Which one of these two is responsible for ...
6
votes
2answers
277 views

Galilean, SE(3), Poincare groups - Central Extension

After having learnt that the Galilean (with its central extension) with an unitary operator $$ U = \sum_{i=1}^3\Big(\delta\theta_iL_i + \delta x_iP_i + \delta\lambda_iG_i +dtH\Big) + ...
4
votes
2answers
168 views

Argument for symmetry of potential

Consider the following electrostatic charge configuration of a spherically symmetric, perfect conductor with total charge $Q = 2q$, where $q > 0$. A point charge $q$ is placed at the position ...
12
votes
1answer
276 views

Lie group of Schrodinger Wave equation

In Ballentine's book on quantum mechanics (in 3rd chapter), he introduces the symmetry transformation of Galilean group associated with Schrodinger equation. Now the Galilean group as such has 10 ...
2
votes
0answers
75 views

Casimir Invariants of the Galilean group

I had studied a couple of things about Galilean and Poincare group. But in the Galilean group, there is not enough clarity on how to calculate generators for boosts ($B_i$), which if I do it seems I ...
12
votes
3answers
931 views

Why am I wrong about how to view gauge theory?

Edit: I know there have been some similar questions but I don't think any had quite articulated my particular confusion. If gauge symmetries are really just redundancies in our description accounting ...
1
vote
0answers
124 views

Reissner-Nordström Black Holes

The Reissner-Nordström black holes are described by the metric, \begin{align} ds^2 = -\left(1-\frac{2M}{r}+\frac{Q^2}{r^2}\right)dt^2 + \frac{1}{1-\frac{2M}{r}+\frac{Q^2}{r^2}}+r^2d\Omega^2 ...
7
votes
1answer
292 views

Generator of local symmetries

Let us only consider classical field theories in this discussion. Noether's theorem states that for every global symmetry, there exists a conserved current and a conserved charge. The charge is the ...
1
vote
1answer
136 views

Point group symmetries and unit cell

I was wondering if the unit cell (of a given lattice) had to have every point group symmetries of the lattice it defines ? I guess there is no unique way to define a unit cell and that it may not have ...
3
votes
0answers
148 views

Parity violating Dirac particle

We normally write down the Dirac Lagrangian as \begin{equation} {\cal L} _D = \bar{\psi} ( i \partial _\mu \gamma ^\mu - m ) \psi \end{equation} but are the Lagrangian's, \begin{equation} ...
8
votes
2answers
284 views

Tadpole symmetry factor

Can someone help me with symmetry factor of one-loop tadpole diagram (one loop correction to one point Green function in phi-3 theory)?
4
votes
2answers
219 views

If nature exhibits symmetry, why don't up and down quarks have equal magnitude of electric charge?

I always hear people saying symmetry is beautiful, nature is symmetric intrinsically, physics and math show the inherent symmetry in nature et cetera, et cetera. Today I learned that half of the ...
13
votes
1answer
291 views

Why do we assume local conformal transformations are symmetries in 2D CFT

The global conformal group in 2D is $SL(2,\mathbb{C})$. It consists of the fractional linear transforms that map the Riemann sphere into itself bijectively and is finite dimensional. However, when ...
0
votes
1answer
204 views

What's a good book for an advanced undergraduate/early graduate student to learn about symmetry, conservation and Noether's theorems?

What's a good book (or other resource) for an advanced undergraduate/early graduate student to learn about symmetry, conservation laws and Noether's theorems? Neuenschwander's book has a scary review ...
12
votes
3answers
487 views

How are symmetries precisely defined?

How are symmetries precisely defined? In basic physics courses it is usual to see arguments on symmetry to derive some equations. This, however, is done in a kind of sloppy way: "we are calculating ...
3
votes
0answers
131 views

Complex scalar fields conserved charges

I'm currently studying field theory and I'm having some trouble with conserved charge given in field components. If we have a complex scalar action of a field $\phi=(\phi_1,\phi_2)^T$ that is ...
2
votes
1answer
126 views

Does a Super Noether Theorem exist?

I am wondering if an extension of Noether theorem to supergroups exists. In particular the analogy with the usual case should be that supersymmmetries are in 1 to 1 correspondence to certain ...
2
votes
0answers
425 views

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 ...
6
votes
2answers
398 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
158 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
54 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 ...
38
votes
2answers
849 views

Symmetries of the Standard Model: exact, anomalous, spontaneously broken

There are a number of possible symmetries in fundamental physics, such as: Lorentz invariance (or actually, Poincaré invariance, which can itself be broken down into translation invariance and ...
3
votes
2answers
208 views

Changing vector basis in AdS$_3$

I have AdS${}_3$ given as a surface embedded in a 4 dimensional pseudo-Riemannian space $$x^2+y^2-u^2-y^2=-l^2$$ With metric: $$ds^2=dx^2+dy^2-du^2-dv^2$$ I have Killing vectors of that space ...
0
votes
3answers
392 views

Quantum explanation of Newton's Third Law of Motion

Newton's law states that for every action there is equal and opposite reaction. This law explains how rockets fly in space and accounts for the the majority of the lift action generated by a ...
4
votes
1answer
145 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
370 views

Rotational invariance and operator-squares

My mind is drawing a blank right now. In systems with spin and orbital angular momentum, I know that rotational invariance implies that $[H, \mathbf{J}]=0$ where $\mathbf J=\mathbf L+\mathbf S$. But ...
4
votes
3answers
235 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
90 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 ...
1
vote
3answers
434 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)
4
votes
1answer
189 views

Does the projected spin state of the $d+id$ mean-field Hamiltonian on a triangular lattice has time-reversal(TR) symmetry?

Consider the following $d+id$ mean-field Hamiltonian for a spin-1/2 model on a triangular lattice $$H=\sum_{<ij>}(\psi_i^\dagger\chi_{ij}\psi_j+H.c.)$$, with $\chi_{ij}=\begin{pmatrix} 0 & ...
1
vote
1answer
213 views

Is Lagrangian a scalar?

I may be wrong: Lagrangian are scalars. They are NOT invariant under coordinate transformations. The simplest example is when you have a gravitational potential ($V=mgz$) and you translate $z$ by $a$ ...
1
vote
1answer
234 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
383 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 ...
0
votes
0answers
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?
5
votes
1answer
225 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 ...
0
votes
0answers
141 views

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?
3
votes
1answer
110 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
91 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 + ...
4
votes
0answers
33 views

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 ...
3
votes
1answer
320 views

Is the spin-rotation symmetry of Kitaev model $D_2$ or $Q_8$?

It is known that the Kitaev Hamiltonian and its spin-liquid ground state both break the $SU(2)$ spin-rotation symmetry. So what's the spin-rotation-symmetry group for the Kitaev model? It's obvious ...
2
votes
2answers
466 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( ...
-1
votes
2answers
283 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
605 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
205 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 ...
0
votes
2answers
199 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
237 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?
8
votes
1answer
328 views

Vibrational anharmonic coupling and noise-induced spontaneous symmetry breaking in a hexagonal finite mechanical lattice

Happy holidays, everyone! The following is part question, part visual gallery, and part classical mechanics problem. Inspired by snow over the weekend I began simulating the vibrations of the ...
3
votes
2answers
387 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?