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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Which kinds of Physics laws do and don't comply with the principle of relativity?

In Physics, the principle of relativity is the requirement that the equations describing the laws of physics have the same form in all admissible frames of reference. However, according to this and ...
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403 views

How to model a symmetry using Lie Groups?

I have been reading lately about Lie groups, and although all books keep listing the groups, and talk about Lie algebras and all that, one thing I still don't know how is it made, and I guess it's the ...
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520 views

Are the principles of space-time homogeneity and Isotropy independent of one another?

Einstein in deriving the Lorentz transformations, used the principles of space-time homogeneity and Isotropy. Does space-time isotropy follow from space-time homogeneity or are they completely ...
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227 views

Who used the concept of symmetries first?

Who "invented" the concept of symmetries? This article is quite extensive, but it blurs the history with the modern understanding. http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/symmetry-breaking/ Some of the ...
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194 views

Proper times of two observers in a three-torus

Consider two observer in a tree-torus space of size $L$. Observer $A$ is at rest, while observer $B$ moves in the $x$-direction with constant velocity $v$. $A$ and $B$ began at the same event, and ...
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308 views

Harmonic oscillator and Lorentz symmetry

There is a analog between harmonic oscillator $x=\frac{1}{\sqrt{2\omega}}(a+a^\dagger)$ and quantum field $\phi=\int dp^3\frac{1}{(2\pi)^3}\frac{1}{\sqrt{2\omega_p}}(a_p e^{ipx}+a^\dagger e^{-ipx})$, ...
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690 views

Conjugate Variables, Noether's Theorem and QM

What is the underlying reason that the same pairs of conjugate variables (e.g. energy & time, momentum & position) are related in Noether's theorem (e.g. time symmetry implies energy ...
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349 views

Relativistic Hamiltonian Formulations [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Hamiltonian mechanics and special relativity? The Hamiltonian formulation is beautifully symmetric. It's a shame that the explicit time derivatives in Hamilton's ...
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2answers
170 views

What maintains quark spin alignments in baryons?

What maintains quark spin alignments in baryons? The $uud$ proton and $udd$ neutron are both spin 1/2, implying that two of their spin 1/2 quarks are always parallel and the other is always opposed. ...
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1answer
177 views

Relationship between local and global scaling (Weyl) symmetry

Theorem 5.1 on page 80 of this paper says that Assuming that the matter fields satisfy their equations of motion, the matter field action is locally Weyl invariant if and only if the corresponding ...
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1answer
125 views

Why is it desirable to have a symmetry to make cosmological constant zero?

It is sometimes stated that absence of a symmetry to make cosmological constant zero is a problem. But observed value of dark energy is very small and non-zero. So why is it desirable to have a ...
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102 views

Poynting vector and Rindler flux under time inversion

This question is about some reply by John Baez on sci.physics.research the post is this: https://groups.google.com/d/msg/sci.physics.research/F6x5GkFt0ic/fxsfuNl9d8gJ the article he is talking about ...
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171 views

Why Must Conserved Currents of Lorentz Symmetry Satisfy the Lorentz Algebra

I've seen it written many times that the commutation relation $[M^{I-},M^{J-}]=0$ is required for Lorentz invariance in the light cone gauge quantisation of the bosonic string. This follows ...
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432 views

CPT Violation and Symmetry / Conservation Laws

Ok, so I remember reading that every conservation law has a corresponding symmetry (i.e. conservation of momentum is translational symmetry, conservation of angular momentum is rotational symmetry). ...
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1answer
182 views

Question on Section 9.1.3 in “Conformal Field Theory” by Philippe Di Francesco et. al

Question on Section 9.1.3 in "Conformal Field Theory" by Philippe Di Francesco et. al. The basic idea of the Coulomb-gas formalism is to place a background charge in the system, making the $U(1)$ ...
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89 views

Division algebras $(\mathbb{R,C,H,O})$ and discrete symmetry [closed]

I once saw a statement about the relation between division algebra(which means you can define a division in this algebra, there is a theorem saying we only have 4 kinds of division algebra, real R, ...
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1answer
1k views

Schrödinger function: Separable wave function with even potential function of x

I have done the Problem 2.1 in Griffiths' quantum mechanics, and it seems not making sense to me. What if the wave function isn't symmetric at all? Then obviously the proof doesn't work. The ...
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760 views

What is the role of the vacuum expectation value in symmetry breaking and the generation of mass?

Consider a theory of one complex scalar field with the following Lagrangian. $$ \mathcal{L}=\partial _\mu \phi ^*\partial ^\mu \phi +\mu ^2\phi ^*\phi -\frac{\lambda}{2}(\phi ^*\phi )^2. $$ The ...
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Does high entropy means low symmetry?

According to Bogolubov postulate (various texts name it differently) in Non-equilibrium thermodynamics, the number of needed parameters to describe our system is decreasing with time, and finally at ...
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1answer
257 views

Symmetry and overlapping of ground states

In a quantum mechanics, there is the following formula to derive the zero energy $E_0$ of a perturbed Hamiltonian $$H = H_0 + V$$ knowing the zero energy $W_0$ of the free Hamiltonian $H_0$: $$E_0 = ...
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163 views

Why does renormalization need an unbroken symmetry?

Common wisdom is that for a QFT to be renormalizable it must be invariant under a symmetry transformation. Why does renormalization need an unbroken symmetry? Which is the first publication that ...
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1answer
54 views

Testing covariance of an expression?

This is something I've been unsure of for a while but still don't quite get. How does one tell whether an expression (e.g. the Dirac equation) is covariant or not? I get it for a single tensor, but ...
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150 views

Symmetries of spacetime and objects over it

I guess according to mathematical didactic, we first think of spacetime as a set and we reason about elements of its topology and then it's furthermore equipped with a metric. Appearently it is this ...
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1answer
458 views

What happens to the Lagrangian of the Dirac theory under charge conjugation?

Consider a charge conjugation operator which acts on the Dirac field($\psi$) as $$\psi_{C} \equiv \mathcal{C}\psi\mathcal{C}^{-1} = C\gamma_{0}^{T}\psi^{*}$$ Just as we can operate the parity operator ...
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570 views

How to apply Noether's theorem

Say I have a point transformation: $$x' ~=~ (1 +\epsilon)x,$$ $$t' ~=~ (1 +\epsilon)^2t,$$ and Lagrangian $$ L ~=~ \frac{1}{2}m\dot{x}^2 - \frac{\alpha}{x^2}.$$ How do I go out about showing ...
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117 views

Dilatations in non-relativistic QM and operator tranformation

I was looking at a QM textbook exercise dealing with dilatations, the transformations are $x \rightarrow x' = \lambda x$ transforming $|\psi\rangle$ into $|\psi'\rangle = ...
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85 views

How to deal with crossing duality and modular invariance in string field theory?

An answer I gave elsewhere. Some cases to ponder over. A closed string splits into two closed strings, which then merge again into a single closed string. The overall string worldsheet has ...
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3answers
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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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2answers
366 views

Invariance of Maxwell's Equations under inverting variables - Reference and use

Some months ago, an ArXiv paper mentioned in passing that Maxwell's Equations were invariant under reciprocating the variables, or at least this results in a dual set of Maxwell Equations. (Actually I ...
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1answer
345 views

Symmetry and conservation laws related to baryon number, lepton number and strangeness

According to Noether's theorem, Every continuous symmetry of the action leads to a conservation law. For example, conservation of linear momentum corresponds to translational symmetry, conservation ...
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2answers
272 views

Scale invariance symmetry as a simple argument in an electrostatics problem

In the comments to this post, it was hinted that proving that the force acting on a charge at a vertical distance from a uniformly charged plane is independent of that distance can be done by ...
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246 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 ...
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726 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 ...
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912 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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1answer
544 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?
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473 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 ...
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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 ...
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3answers
576 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?
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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 ...
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877 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?
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672 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.
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372 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 ...
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389 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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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1answer
149 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 ...
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226 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 ...
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428 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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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 ...
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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 ...