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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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 ...
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2answers
245 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
2k 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
200 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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166 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, ...
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2answers
739 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
68 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 ...
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1answer
249 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 ...
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2answers
190 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
573 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
449 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
184 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 ...
7
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2answers
1k 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 ...
3
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1answer
143 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
109 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
285 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 ...
7
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2answers
678 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 ...
6
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1answer
641 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 ...
2
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1answer
126 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 ...
9
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2answers
471 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 ...
4
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1answer
138 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
332 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
60 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 ...
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3answers
4k 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
776 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 ...
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1answer
180 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
973 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
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1answer
121 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
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2answers
385 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
862 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
320 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 ...
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118 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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263 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
121 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 ...
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1answer
54 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
119 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
votes
1answer
241 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
votes
2answers
482 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 ...
2
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0answers
105 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 ...
2
votes
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164 views

Question about Noether theorem

For the Noether theorem for pseudoeuclidean 4-spacetime a-current $J_{a}^{\mu}$ is equal to $$ J_{a}^{\mu} = \frac{\partial L}{\partial (\partial_{\mu}\Psi_{k})}Y_{k, a} - \left( \frac{\partial ...
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0answers
94 views

Curie's principle in electromagnetic field theory

I am looking for some explanation and if possible also some references about the applications of Curie's principle in electromagnetic field Theory, precisely in the computation of magnetic (resp. ...
7
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279 views

Extended Born relativity, Nambu 3-form and ternary (n-ary) symmetry

Background: Classical Mechanics is based on the Poincare-Cartan two-form $$\omega_2=dx\wedge dp$$ where $p=\dot{x}$. Quantum mechanics is secretly a subtle modification of this. By the other hand, ...
9
votes
1answer
384 views

Why does a transformation to a rotating reference frame NOT break temporal scale invariance?

Naively, I thought that transforming a scale invariant equation (such as the Navier-Stokes equations for example) to a rotating reference frame (for example the rotating earth) would break the ...
19
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4answers
730 views

When can a global symmetry be gauged?

Take a classical field theory described by a local Lagrangian depending on a set of fields and their derivatives. Suppose that the action possesses some global symmetry. What conditions have to be ...
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212 views

Eigenfunctions in periodic potential

For Hamiltonian $\operatorname H$ and lattice translation operator $\operatorname T$, if $$\operatorname H\psi=E\psi, \qquad \operatorname T\psi=e^{ik\cdot R}\psi,$$ and $$\operatorname ...
3
votes
2answers
196 views

What is a symmetry of a physical system?

If I understand correctly, in many context in physics (quantum mechanics?), a physical system is specified by giving its Hamiltonian. I also hear that symmetries are rather essential. As far as the ...
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77 views

CP-symmetry and Ward identities and finite temperature

I have a few questions about Ward-identities which I summarize here. For each I am very greateful for answers and references to literature. Wikipedia states about Ward-identities: The ...