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

1
vote
0answers
223 views

Breaking of conformal symmetry

I am wondering something about the breaking of conformal symmetry: I know that it can be broken at the quantum level, anomalously, but I never encountered or heard about a model where it is broken "à ...
3
votes
1answer
654 views

Conservation Laws and Symmetries

Usually, in Quantum Mechanics, an observable is an operator on the space of the possible quantum states (labelled as $|\psi\rangle$). If this quantity is conserved, in the meaning that the associated ...
10
votes
2answers
831 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
510 views

Even and Odd States of a 1D finite potential well

Is it possible for a particle trapped in a 1D finite potential well to evolve from a even state to an odd state and vice-versa? Why?
5
votes
0answers
378 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
76 views

How can we have massive states of strings and CFT on the string worldsheet at the same time?

Ok, so we can have conformal invariance on a string world sheet. However, it is well known that to preserve conformal symmetry we require states to be massless. So how is it that string theories ...
3
votes
3answers
532 views

What is the difference between manifest Lorentz invariance and canonical Lorentz invariance?

I often read that the Lorentz symmetry is manifest in the path integral formulation but is not in the canonical quantization - what does this really mean?
1
vote
1answer
94 views

Excitations implied by symmetries

I read that in condensed matter field theory a symmetry implies not only a conserved current (through the well-known Noether theorem) but some kind of "low energy excitation". I am familiar with the ...
3
votes
3answers
833 views

Maxwell equations invariant under Lorentz transformation but not Galilean transformations

Why Maxwell equations are not invariant under Galilean transformations, but invariant under Lorentz transformations? What is the deep physical meaning behind it?
1
vote
2answers
646 views

Lorentz Invariance of Maxwell Equations

I am curious to see a simple demonstration of how special relativity leads to Lorentz Invariance of the Maxwell Equations. Differential form will suffice.
9
votes
1answer
350 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
373 views

Symmetries, Generators, Commutators and Observables

I'm learning about generators and conservation laws and have derived the equation (1) $$[Q,A]=-i\hbar f(A)$$ which is satisfied by the observable generator $Q$ for a transformation group with ...
4
votes
3answers
407 views

Must all symmetries have consequences?

Must all symmetries have consequences? We know that transnational invariance, for example, leads to momentum conservation, etc, cf. Noether's Theorem. Is it possible for a theory or a model to have ...
21
votes
2answers
2k views

Classical and quantum anomalies

I have read about anomalies in different contexts and ways. I would like to read an explanation that unified all these statements or point-views: Anomalies are due to the fact that quantum field ...
1
vote
1answer
146 views

Cyclic co-ordinates implying the constant velocity motion of center of mass of a system of particles

I'm reading the section on Central Force in my textbook (Goldstein's Classical Mechanics has a similar argument in the chapter titled "The Central Force Problem", first section), where we have the ...
5
votes
3answers
223 views

Representation of phase in quantum mechanics

[Note: My discussion of the three answers can be found just after the question.] Imagine three points in space that differ only by a phase angle of "something" (what doesn't really matter). One way ...
10
votes
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 ...
1
vote
1answer
162 views

transformations with commutators and anticommutators that generate displacements

is well known that composition of point reflections generate pure displacements. This implies that the commutator of two point reflections will be a pure displacement. Are there similar elemental ...
1
vote
1answer
152 views

Searching the point group of symmetry

I am engaged in the field of quantum-chemical calculations using programs written by myself. I have found out that I have a problem in finding the point group symmetry of the molecule. The first idea ...
3
votes
2answers
452 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
144 views

Does turbulence violate Galilean relativity?

Fluid flows become turbulent beyond a certain velocity. The velocity is almost always with respect to a fixed boundary. However, an observer in a frame of reference travelling with the fluid will also ...
2
votes
1answer
325 views

Why are all observable gauge theories not vector-like?

Why are all observable gauge theories not vector-like? Will this imply that the electron and/or fermions do not have mass? How is this issue resolved? Background: The Standard Model is a ...
4
votes
1answer
116 views

What kinds of inconsistencies would one get if one starts with Lorentz noninvariant Lagrangian of QFT?

What kinds of inconsistencies would one get if one starts with Lorentz noninvariant Lagrangian of QFT? The question is motivated by this preprint arXiv:1203.0609 by Murayama and Watanabe. Also, what ...
7
votes
1answer
137 views

Request for Reference: BRST formalism/transformations

Could anyone please suggest a very basic paper/reference/literature on BRST symmetry/formalism that requires rudimentary knowledge of Dirac's method for dealing with constrained systems and generation ...
0
votes
2answers
261 views

Scalar potential, vector potential, and spinor potnetial

In Particle Physics, I've seen Scalar potentials which look like this $$ V = a \Phi^2 + b \Phi^4$$ $\Phi$ is scalar (a number). What about vector potentials, and spinor potentials? How are they ...
2
votes
1answer
404 views

Spontaneous symmetry breaking and 't Hooft and Polyakov monopoles

What is spontaneous symmetry breaking from a classical point of view. Could you give some examples, using classical systems.I am studying about the 't Hooft and Polyakov magnetic monopoles solutions, ...
3
votes
1answer
195 views

Lorentz invariance and the vacuum expectation value of fields with spin > 0

I had a question about Moduli space, which I was reading about here, but then I read this sentence: "Lorentz invariance forces the vacuum expectation values of any higher spin fields to ...
2
votes
1answer
335 views

What is the Lie algebra of the Galilean group and what is the structure of it?

I read Freeman Dyson's article Missed Opportunities, in which he talked about the mathematical attractiveness of the Lorenz group compared to the Galilean group. I am reading Florian Scheck's book on ...
7
votes
3answers
95 views

Rotationally invariant body and principal axis

Suppose a rigid body is invariant under a rotation around an axis $\mathsf{A}$ by a given angle $0 \leq \alpha_0 < 2\pi$ (and also every multiple of $\alpha_0$). Is it true that in this case the ...
9
votes
1answer
2k views

Spontaneous Time Reversal Symmetry Breaking?

It is known that you can break P spontaneously--- look at any chiral molecule for an example. Spontaneous T breaking is harder for me to visualize. Is there a well known condensed matter system which ...
4
votes
1answer
277 views

Lepton Number Conservation

What is the global symmetry of the electroweak Lagrangian that gives rise to lepton number conservation? As I understand it, electric charge is some linear combination of the conserved quantities ...
0
votes
1answer
1k views

Understanding units and the units of the derivative operator

Suppose that $f$ is a function from unit $A$ to $B$, then what is the unit of $f'(x)$?. We can do $f'(x)\Delta x$ to get an estimate of $f(x + \Delta x)$. Since the latter has unit $B$, so has the ...
1
vote
1answer
436 views

Why do humans have bilateral symmetry? [closed]

About the eyes I know that it requires for gauging distance as in Modern 3D cameras have two sensors. And two ears for sound source localization using differences in levels and timing (But not yet two ...
1
vote
1answer
465 views

Wigner-Eckart projection theorem

I'm following the proof of Wigner-Eckart projection theorem which states that: $$\langle \bf{A} \rangle ~=~ \frac{\langle \bf{A} \cdot \bf{J} \rangle}{\langle {\bf{J}}^2 \rangle} \langle \bf{J} ...
3
votes
7answers
924 views

Time Reversal Invariance in Quantum Mechanics

I thought of a thought experiment that had me questioning how time reversal works in quantum mechanics and the implications. The idea is this ... you are going forward in time when you decide to ...
5
votes
1answer
221 views

Goldstone's theorem and massless modes for $\phi^4$ theory

Consider a scalar field doublet $(\phi_1, \phi_2)$ with a Mexican hat potential $$V~=~\lambda (\phi_1^2+\phi_2^2-a^2)^2.$$ When $a=0$ this is a quartic potential and the symmetry is not ...
6
votes
1answer
409 views

U(1) Charged Fields

I don't quite understand what is actually meant by a field charged under a $U(1)$ symmetry. Does it mean that when a transformation is applied the field transforms with an additional phase? More ...
2
votes
0answers
316 views

Influence of Joe Rosen work, is it marginal, or significantly accepted?

I have prepared a paper that relies on work of Joe Rosen on symmetry (e.g. "Symmetry Rules: How Science and Nature Are Founded on Symmetry"). I am wondering about his influence. For example, when I ...
20
votes
5answers
1k views

Is the converse of Noether's first theorem true: Every conservation law has a symmetry?

Noether's (first) theorem states that any differentiable symmetry of the action of a physical system has a corresponding conservation law. Is the converse true: Any conservation law of a physical ...
5
votes
2answers
216 views

Question about SL(2,Z) duality of string theory/N=4 SYM

$\mathcal N=4$ SYM has an $\mathrm{SL}(2,\mathbb Z)$ duality group. This can be thought of in two ways: 1. This theory can be obtained by compactifying the 6D $\mathcal N=(2,0)$ theory on a torus, ...
5
votes
2answers
265 views

If the S-matrix has symmetry group G, must the fields be representations of G?

If the fields in QFT are representations of the Poincare group (or generally speaking the symmetry group of interest), then I think it's a straight forward consequence that the matrix elements and ...
6
votes
4answers
428 views

What is meant by the phrase “the mass is protected by a symmetry”?

In a particle physics context I've heard this phrase used. I guess it means that the mass of a particle is less than you'd naively expect from $E=mc^2$ after computing the momentum uncertainty ...
4
votes
1answer
363 views

What is replica symmetry breaking, and what is a good resource for learning it?

M. Mezard, G. Parisi and coworkers have written about replica symmetry and its breaking in spin glasses, structural glasses, and hard computational problems. I am just getting acquainted with this ...
3
votes
1answer
320 views

Constructing the “most general” two-particle spin interaction with $SU(2)$ symmetry

Suppose I want to write down an interaction term for an action for spin 1/2 fermions that is $SU(2)$-symmetric. I start from the most naive general form of such an action: $$S_{int} ~=~ \int_{4321} ...
9
votes
2answers
384 views

When “unphysical” solutions are not actually unphysical

When solving problems in physics, one often finds, and ignores, "unphysical" solutions. For example, when solving for the velocity and time taken to fall a distance h (from rest) under earth gravity: ...
7
votes
2answers
621 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
270 views

Conserved quantum observables from symmetries *with density matrix*

I’ve read Ballentine where he derives the conserved observable operators (momentum, energy, ...) from symmetries of space-time. Can I read up such a derivation in more detail somewhere else or even ...
4
votes
2answers
629 views

Deriving Birkhoff's Theorem

I am trying to derive Birkhoff's theorem in GR as an exercise: a spherically symmetric gravitational field is static in the vacuum area. I managed to prove that $g_{00}$ is independent of t in the ...
2
votes
1answer
577 views

Weinberg's way of deriving Lie algebra related to a Lie group

I was reading the second chapter of the first volume of Weinberg's books on QFT. I am quite confused by the way he derives the Lie algebra of a connected Lie group. He starts with a connected Lie ...
5
votes
3answers
404 views

The Asymmetry between Real and Imaginary in the three Pauli Spin Matrices

The Pauli spin matrices $$ \sigma_1 ~=~ (\begin{smallmatrix} 0 & 1 \\ 1 & 0 \end{smallmatrix}), \qquad\qquad \sigma_2 ~=~ (\begin{smallmatrix} 0 & -i \\ i & 0 ...