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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Big Bang and Spherical Symmetry

If the universe did indeed start with the big bang why is the universe not spherically symmetric? As per Wikipedia entry on Big Bang, (and my understanding as well) big bang is the best explanation ...
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1k views

Explicit time dependence of the Lagrangian and Energy Conservation

Why is energy(or in more general terms,the Hamiltonian) not conserved when the Lagrangian has an explicit time dependence? I know that we can derive the identity: $\frac{\partial ...
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2answers
228 views

Why Goldstone Bosons? (A Question about VEVs)

I understand how the mechanism of spontaneous symmetry breaking works, and why it produces Goldstone bosons (for global symmetries) and massive gauge bosons (for local ones). However, I'm confused as ...
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211 views

Time Reversal in Euclidean Spacetime - unitary or antiunitary?

(pre-request) We know that time reversal operator $T$ is an anti-unitary operator in Minkowsi Spacetime. i.e. $$ T z=z^*T $$ where the complex number $z$ becomes its complex conjugate. See, for ...
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165 views

Ghost Number Conservation

I've been reading about gauge theory quantization, and understand it mostly. The only thing I don't get is why people talk about "ghost number conservation". As far as I can tell, the ghost number is ...
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3answers
163 views

What does “transform among themselves” mean?

I'm reading a script on atomic physics, and there's a chapter on irreducible tensors. I can't understand the meaning of "transform among themselves" in this context: An arbitrary rotation of the ...
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3answers
364 views

Nobel Prize 2013: What is it about? [closed]

I would really like to understand Higgs-Englert’s discovery that earned them the 2013 physics Nobel prize. I tried reading their work, but understood nothing of it unfortunately. The reason why I’m ...
2
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1answer
269 views

A naive question on the $U(1)$ gauge transformation of electromagnetic field?

For simplicity, in the following we set the electric charge $e=1$ and consider a lattice spinless free electron system in an external static magnetic field $\mathbf{B}=\nabla\times\mathbf{A}$ ...
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225 views

Some ambiguous points on Spontaneous Symmetry Breaking (SSB)?

Almost in every textbook of condensed matter physics, the standard description of SSB could be formulated as follows: Consider the lattice Heisenberg model in an external magnetic field ...
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1answer
232 views

Question on conserved quantities and Noether's theorem

I have a question about Noether's theorem in the context of QM, which I'll state in the context of the weak interaction but the basic point could be generalized. According to Noether's theorem, given ...
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1answer
164 views

Hamiltonian form of Noether's Theorem

I understand that Noether's Theorem has a Hamiltonian form, whereby {X, H} = 0 iff {H, X} = 0. The proof of this is trivial, as it follows from the antisymmetry of the Poisson Brackets. First ...
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1answer
326 views

Shouldn't Charge Conjugation be known as “positive/negative frequency symmetry”?

I know that charge conjugation exchanges the creation (or annihilation) operators of the particles with those of the anti-particles and therefore merits the name charge conjugation. However, if ...
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1answer
172 views

Relation between (super)integrability and closed orbits

Inspired by this recent question, I would like to understand from a more general and mathematical perspective why closed orbits are only found for the Kepler ($V(r) \sim 1/r$) or harmonic ($V(r) \sim ...
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0answers
61 views

What is the definition of integrability in the context of surface charges?

In the usual covariant approach to the development of surface charges of an asymptotic symmetry group, one works with the linearized theory as this ensures that the charges are integrable. I also ...
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1answer
204 views

Boundary currents for Asymptotic Symmetry Group (ASG)

In the context of asymptotic symmetry groups, what is a boundary current? Why is it called a "current"? Context: I'm reading Strominger's recent paper on Asymptotic symmetry group of Yang-Mills ...
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2answers
690 views

What is precisely a Yangian symmetry?

The terms Yangian and Yangian symmetry appear in a list of physical problems (spin chains, Hubbard model, ABJM theory, $\mathcal{N}= 4$ super Yang-Mills in $d=4$, $\mathcal{N}= 8$ SUGRA in $d=4$), ...
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1answer
525 views

Do spin-spin interactions break time reversal symmetry?

I'm sure the answer is yes, but how is this shown? Normally for a single spin-1/2 you have a time reversal operator: $-i \sigma_y \hat{K}$ where $\sigma_y$ is the second Pauli matrix and $\hat{K}$ is ...
3
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1answer
1k views

'Easy way' of finding out the Killing vector fields?

Is there a way for calculating the Killing vector fields of a given metric in a quick way? Sure I can guess looking at the metric at the symmetries, and then guess some of them, but, for instance, in ...
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1answer
156 views

By saying a physical state has some 'symmetry', what do we really mean?

Here our arguments are restricted to the realm of the Projective Symmetry Group(PSG) proposed by Prof. Wen, Quantum Orders and Symmetric Spin Liquids. Xiao-Gang Wen. Phys. Rev. B 65 no. 16, 165113 ...
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436 views

Symmetries & Lie groups in physics

This is not a homework, neither it is any exercise. It is my understanding of $U(1)$ symmetry. I would request if anybody can please correct me on any one of the following understandings: The ...
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2answers
305 views

Two puzzles on the Projective Symmetry Group(PSG)?

Recently I'm studying PSG and I felt very puzzled about two statements appeared in Wen's paper. To present the questions clearly, imagine that we use the Shwinger-fermion ...
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1answer
116 views

Are the symmetry operators well defined in the context of Projective Symmetry Group(PSG)?

Consider the Schwinger-fermion approach $\mathbf{S}_i=\frac{1}{2}f_i^\dagger\mathbf{\sigma}f_i$ to spin-$\frac{1}{2}$ system on 2D lattices. Just as Prof.Wen said in his seminal paper on PSG, the ...
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0answers
165 views

Scale-invariant differential operator

For example, the differential operator Laplacian is $$\nabla^2 = \frac{\partial^2}{\partial x^2}+\frac{\partial^2}{\partial y^2}.$$ My questions are: Is it scale-invariant? what is ...
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2answers
698 views

Global phase symmetry for complex scalar field theory

I have started to study QFT. And I have some difficulties in such classical situation. Suppose i want to calculate $\frac{\partial \mathcal{L}}{\partial (\partial_\mu \phi)}\phi$ for lagrangian ...
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1answer
165 views

Explanation for the minus sign in $\Omega_3$ in the Kappa symmetry of the Green - Schwarz formalism for F1 strings

Just so that there can be more higher - level physics questions here, let me post this question + answer. Also because I'm a bit sad that there are almost no questions on the Green-Schwarz ...
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1answer
179 views

Symmetry groups [closed]

I am quite new to this subject. I am just repeating in a few words, what I have learned so far: There are 4 fundamental forces of nature: strong, weak, electromagnetism and gravity. Physicists are ...
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1answer
181 views

Different invariant gauge groups (IGG) on different lattices with the same form mean-filed Hamiltonian?

Suppose that we use the Schwinger-fermion ($\mathbf{S_i}=\frac{1}{2}f_i^\dagger\mathbf{\sigma}f_i$) mean-field theory to study the Heisenberg model on 2D lattices, and now we arrive at the mean-field ...
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1answer
156 views

Can spin liquids without spin-rotation and time-reversal symmetries possess nonzero Spin Density Wave (SDW) order parameters?

For those spin liquids with SU(2) spin-rotation symmetry or time-reversal(TR) symmetry , the Spin Density Wave (SDW) order parameters are always zero, say $\left \langle \mathbf{S}_i \right ...
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77 views

Can classical orders coexist with quantum orders?

For example, the ground state of the antiferromagnetic(AFM) Heisenberg model $H=J\sum_{<ij>}\mathbf{S}_i \cdot \mathbf{S}_j(J>0)$ on a 2D square lattice is a Neel state, which is a classical ...
4
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1answer
464 views

Traceless of stress-energy tensor in $d=2$

This is a question regarding Francesco, section 4.3.3. In this section, he considers the two-point function $$ S_{\mu\nu\rho\sigma}(x) = \left< T_{\mu\nu}(x) T_{\rho\sigma}(0)\right> $$ He then ...
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2answers
4k views

Lorentz and Galilean transformation

I read about Lorentz and Galilean transformation in a book of modern physics some days back, but couldn't clearly understand the difference between the two? Also it was stated there that maxwell's ...
12
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1answer
615 views

Motivation for preservation of spacetime volume by Lorentz transformation?

My favorite way of deriving the Lorentz transformation is to start from symmetry principles (an approach originated in Ignatowsky 1911; cf. Pal 2003), and one of my steps is to prove a lemma stating ...
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202 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
880 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
289 views

Quantum Anomalies in Non-Gauge Theories?

I'm reading about quantum anomalies in QFT and all the examples seem to arise in gauge theories. Is it true that theories without a local gauge invariance don't have quantum anomalies? I can't think ...
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2answers
197 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
106 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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2answers
821 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 ...
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2answers
318 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 ...
6
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1answer
186 views

A question about Lorentz invariance of the Polyakov action

I have a super basic and stupid question about the Lorentz invariance of the Polyakov action (cannot skip the disclaimer..) $$S_p[X,\gamma]=-\frac{1}{4 \pi \alpha'} \int_{-\infty}^{\infty} d \tau ...
2
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1answer
213 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
200 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, ...
5
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1answer
146 views

SL(2,R) to SL(2,Z) in Type IIB String Theory

I heard from Prof. Katrin Becker (in her "SUSY for Strings and Branes - Part 1" lecture) that the classical $SL(2,\mathbb{R})$ symmetry in type IIB String theory becomes $SL(2,\mathbb{Z})$ in Quantum ...
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1answer
69 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
2k 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
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1answer
348 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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199 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 ...
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1answer
194 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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125 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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323 views

Invariance of Functional Integration Measure

Let us consider the functional integral: \begin{equation} \int \mathcal{D} A e^{iS[A]} \end{equation} where $S[A]$ is the action for $U(1)$ gauge field and \begin{equation} \mathcal{D}A\equiv ...