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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2answers
116 views

Why is $p_\phi$ conserved in a Schwarzschild orbit?

This arises from the question What is the relationship between $a$ and $m$, which I'm afraid I answered just by looking it up in Schutz's book. However Schutz (as he frequently does) glosses over ...
6
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4answers
739 views

Why aren't orbitals symmetric?

In an hydrogen-like atoms the orbitals are solutions to the Schrodinger equation suitable for the problem. They describe the regions where an electron can be found. So, why don't they have spherical ...
4
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3answers
295 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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0answers
45 views

Name for the transformation into an accelerated frame?

A transformation into a frame that looks at an experiment from a rotated perspective is called a rotation. A transformation into a frame that moves with a different constant velocity is called a ...
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0answers
251 views

Why is the electric field inside a solenoid tangential?

I have been looking at some derivations for the electric field inside a solenoid. I know how to find it, but I don't get the symmetry argument used. This is often of the form: Since if we choose ...
2
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0answers
81 views

Antimatter universe and Noether's theorem

I am studying Feynman's "symmetry in physical laws", where he talks about conservation laws for corresponding symmetries. (I know this is Noether's theorem, I am studying this from David Tong's ...
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2answers
199 views

Spontaneous Symmetry Breaking - struggling with physics based understanding?

Although I am a mathematician by nature, I'm writing an essay in my third year of my undergraduate on Spontaneous Symmetry Breaking in Physics, and as such I've become a little confused by how the ...
2
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1answer
59 views

Parity transformation is proper orthochronous?

In 3+1 dimensional spacetime the parity transformation is $$P^\mu_{\;\,\nu}=\begin{pmatrix}+1&&&\\&-1&&\\&&-1&\\&&&-1\end{pmatrix}.$$ This is ...
2
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1answer
57 views

Parameterization of an arbitrary element of $U(2)_L \times U(2)_R$ (Chiral symmetry with two quarks)

When you write down the Lagrangian for two quarks : \begin{equation} \mathcal{L}_\text{QCD}^0 = -\frac{1}{4} G_{\mu\nu}^a G^{a\mu\nu}+ \bar\Psi i \gamma^\mu D_\mu \Psi \end{equation} you find an $U(2)...
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1answer
137 views

How do states in Hilbert Space act like irreducible representations?

I am reading Georgi's book on group theory and I came across this sentence..." Hilbert space of any parity invariant system can be decomposed into states that behave like irreducible representations". ...
3
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1answer
91 views

Is there a sensible fully-discretized Hamilton's principle?

In computational physics it is common to formulate Hamilton's principle in a semi-discrete way, where space is continuous but time is discrete: in other words the Lagrangian $$L(q, \dot q, t): \mathbb{...
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1answer
165 views

Symmetry argument for a toroid?

When using Ampere's law for a toroid (in the toroid and around a circular path) please can someone explain the symmetry argument (or an alternative argument) which allows us to assume the field is ...
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0answers
55 views

Any importance of $i$ before the time reversal operator for spin-1/2 system?

I've read about that: For systems with spin 1/2, time-reversal symmetry has the operator $\mathcal{T}=i\sigma_y K$. I wonder if the imaginary unit $i$ has any importance. Without $i$, $\mathcal{...
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1answer
62 views

Does invariance under infinite small transformation imply invariance to the finite one?

Let's say that I have finite chiral transform and I would like to show invariance of Dirac's Lagrangian when $m=0$ under it. The chiral transform is defined as: $$\psi(x) \rightarrow \psi'(x) =e^{i \...
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1answer
236 views

Intuition for S-duality

first of all, I need to confess my ignorance with respect to any physics since I'm a mathematician. I'm interested in the physical intuition of the Langlands program, therefore I need to understand ...
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1answer
404 views

Why is a hexagon such a stable shape for materials?

A hexagonal lattice is famously the shape of graphene, the source of the 2010 Nobel prize. The shape also shows up in beehives and in the basalt columns of Giant's Causeway in County Antrim. "...
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2answers
54 views

How to define conserved charges in Euclidean field theory?

In a field theory with signature (1,d), conserved charges are obtained by integrating the time component of a conserved current over a spatial region. What are the corresponding equations and ...
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1answer
57 views

Conserved current in a complex relativistic scalar field

For my field theory class I have the following Lagrangian density $$\mathscr{L}=\frac{1}{2}\eta^{\mu\nu}\partial_\mu\phi^*\partial_\nu\phi-\frac{1}{2}m^2\phi^*\phi$$ Where $\eta^{\mu\nu}$ is the ...
0
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1answer
68 views

Fine Structure Correction

The fine structure correction is composed of the relativistic correction and spin-orbit coupling. The lowest-order relativistic correction to the Hamiltonian is $$ H_r' = -\frac{p^4}{8m^3c^2}$$ ...
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2answers
2k views

Can conservation of momentum be violated?

The law of the conservation of momentum has been established for hundred of years. Even in Quantum field theory every particle collision must be momentum-conserving if there is homogenity in space. ...
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1answer
96 views

Given potentials, how does one find conserved quantities using Noether's theorem?

I've been asked to find the conserved quantities of the following 3D potentials: $U(\vec{r}) = U(x^2)$, $U(\vec{r}) = U(x^2 + y^2)$ and $U(\vec{r}) = U(x^2 + y^2 + z^2)$. For the first one, ...
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1answer
146 views

Why Levi-Civita term signal the breaking of parity and time reversal?

For example, referring to Zee's QFT book, in Chern-Simons matter theory, after writing a term $$\gamma {\varepsilon ^{\mu \nu \lambda }}{a_\mu }{\partial _\nu}{a_\lambda }$$ he said The ...
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1answer
158 views

Does an on-shell symmetry necessarily change the Lagrangian by a total derivative?

This is a follow-up question to: Does a symmetry necessarily leave the action invariant? Qmechanic writes here: Here the word off-shell means that the Lagrangian eqs. of motion are not assumed to ...
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10answers
2k views

Why does it take a projectile as long to get to its apex as it does to hit the ground?

I was once asked the following question by a student I was tutoring; and I was stumped by it: When one throws a stone why does it take the same amount of time for a stone to rise to its peak and then ...
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1answer
160 views

Does a symmetry necessarily leave the action invariant?

A symmetry maps a configuration with stationary action to another configuration with stationary action. However, does it necessarily preserve the value of the action exactly? It seems that it should ...
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1answer
58 views

How to show OPE coefficients are symmetric in three indices ?

May it is very trivial, but I am stuck here, given (I have suppressed the conjugate coordinates) $$ \phi_i(x) \phi_j(y) \sim \sum_{k} c_{ijk} (x-y)^{h_k - h_i - h_j} \phi_k(y) $$ $$ \langle \phi_i(x)...
3
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1answer
389 views

Derivation of Rashba spin-orbit coupling in tight-binding model

Rashba spin-orbit coupling Hamiltonian in free space can be written as: $H_{\text{so}}=\int d^3r \Psi^{\dagger}(\mathbf{r}) \gamma (p_{x}\sigma _{y}-p_{y}\sigma _{x})\Psi(\mathbf{r})$. I expand $\...
0
votes
1answer
152 views

Infinitesimal transformations and Poisson brackets [duplicate]

I want to understand how bracket operations in general are related to symmetry and infinitesimal transformations (in hindsight of quantumfieldtheory), so I calculated an example with a particle that ...
3
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1answer
85 views

How to quantify translational symmetry?

I'm trying to study phase transitions and I'm trying to find a way to classify regions of space based on their "crystallinity". I'm working with 3D coordinates, but I'll present the problem in 2D ...
0
votes
2answers
176 views

Problem with determining number of goldstone bosons

Consider a theory $$\mathcal{L}=(\partial_\mu\Phi^\dagger)(\partial^\mu\Phi)-\mu^2(\Phi^\dagger\Phi)-\lambda(\Phi^\dagger\Phi)^2$$ where $\Phi=\begin{pmatrix}\phi_1+i\phi_2\\ \phi_0+i\phi_3\end{...
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2answers
112 views

What are the unitary operators for various transformation?

Transformations, at least in lagrangian-symmetries context, are usualy described as uintary operators. I dont understand what are these operators exactly. For example, let's look at the Lorentz ...
8
votes
1answer
586 views

Noether currents in QFT

I am trying to organize my knowledge of Noether's theorem in QFT. There are several questions I would like to have an answer to. In classical field theory, Noether's theorem states that for each ...
3
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0answers
90 views

Conserved charge of a conformal transformation

From Becker, Becker and Schwarz String Theory and M-Theory: For the infinitesimal conformal transformation $$\tag{3.25}\delta z=\varepsilon(z)\quad\text{and}\quad \delta\bar z=\tilde\varepsilon(...
6
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1answer
527 views

Noether's Theorem: Lie algebra, Lie groups

I've had a brief look through similar threads on this topic to see if my question has already been answered, but I didn't find quite what I was looking for, perhaps it is because I'm finding it hard ...
0
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1answer
95 views

Silicon: conduction band minima

Why do the energetic minima of the silicon conduction band lie not in a high-symmetry point like a $X$-point, but somewhere in $\Delta$-direction between points $\Gamma$ and $X$? What is the physical ...
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0answers
132 views

How can gauge invariance be unphysical?

Gauge symmetry is said to be "unphysical" because the transformations - unlike changes of reference frame - do not correspond to real physical operations. But the consequences of gauge symmetries are ...
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1answer
131 views

Schrodinger equation, commutative operators, and Symmetry

When solving Schrodinger's equation in 3D with a spherical laplacian you reach a point at which you introduce a separation constant and can see that the same eigenvalue satisfies the radial and ...
0
votes
1answer
89 views

Relation between gauge symmetry and mass difference

Usually (like in Georgi's Lie Algebra book) people argue the reason why Gellmann $SU(3)$ flavor symmetry (u,d,s) can't extend to $SU(4)$ (u,d,c,s) or higher flavour symmetry is the their mass ...
2
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0answers
230 views

What is the symmetry group of this Hamiltonian?

Consider a Hamiltonian $$\hat H=-\partial_x^2-\partial_y^2+(x-y)Q,$$ where $x,y\in[0,a]$ (homogeneous Dirichlet boundary conditions assumed), and $Q$ is some real parameter. When $Q=0$, the ...
2
votes
0answers
76 views

What is the difference between the groups $PSU(N)$ and $SU(N)$? [closed]

What is the difference between the groups $PSU(N)$ and $SU(N)$? For example how is $PSU(2,2|4)$ different than $SU(2,2|4)$?
0
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0answers
158 views

Does point group symmetry also act within “spin space” for a lattice spin system?

As an example, let's consider a quantum spin system on a 2D square lattice. The lattice point group symmetries include $C_4$ rotation, parities, etc.... And let's take $C_2$ symmetry (2-fold rotation) ...
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3answers
185 views

$SO(3)$, $SU(2)$ and symmetries in quantum mechanics [duplicate]

A rotation in the vector space $\mathbb{R}^3$ is represented by the known 3x3-matrices. But at this point I'm really confused how to get from there to Quantum Mechanics. The group of $\mathrm{SO}(3)$...
8
votes
7answers
1k views

What does the statement “the laws of physics are invariant” mean?

In the first paragraph of Wikipedia's article on special relativity, it states one of the assumptions of special relativity is the laws of physics are invariant (i.e., identical) in all inertial ...
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1answer
293 views

Why does Weyl invariance imply a traceless energy-momentum tensor?

I've begun to self-study String Theory from Polchinski and Becker, Becker and Schwarz. I don't see why the fact that the Polyakov action is invariant under Weyl transformations is related to the ...
4
votes
2answers
131 views

Definition of Duality (opposed to Symmetry)

I'm learning basic string theory right now and we came across T-duality which was presented as a symmetry of the formula for the mass of a string in the context of compactification. There was a remark ...
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3answers
399 views

Ideal, isotropic fluid and stress tensor

An ideal fluid is the one which cannot support any shearing stress. It also doesn't have viscosity. My question is what does it mean by a fluid to be isotropic? Is an ideal fluid necessarily isotropic ...
3
votes
3answers
535 views

How to understand this symmetry in the wavefunctions of a diatomic molecule?

In Wikipedia (and elsewhere), a particular symmetry of the quantum system of a diatomic molecule is mentioned: symmetry under reflection along a plane containing the internuclear axis. The ...
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1answer
318 views

What exactly do we mean by symmetry in physics?

I'm referring here to invariance of the Lagrangian under Lorentz transformations. There are two possibilities: Physics does not depend on the way we describe it (passive symmetry). We can choose ...
3
votes
2answers
152 views

Global symmetry and particle multiplets

In chapter 20, of Peskin and Schroeder's quantum field theory book, they start with a comment that a global symmetry that is manifest lead to particle multiplets with restricted interactions. Can ...
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2answers
124 views

$T$-invariant Hamiltonians

If $T$ is time-reversal transformation $t\mapsto -t$, Why do $T$-invariant Bloch Hamiltonians obey $$H(-k) = T H(k) T^{-1}$$ and not $$H(k) = T H(k) T^{-1}$$ Somehow I understand the word "invariant" ...