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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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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92 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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2answers
804 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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5answers
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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
269 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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0answers
170 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
505 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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2answers
595 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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131 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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1answer
95 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
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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2answers
380 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
385 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
274 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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274 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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1answer
791 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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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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1answer
594 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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631 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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1answer
77 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
612 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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1answer
101 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 ...
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909 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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700 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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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 ...
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404 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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3answers
410 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 ...
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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 ...
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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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3answers
229 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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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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171 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 ...
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165 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 ...
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2answers
481 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 ...
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155 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 ...
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345 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 ...
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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 ...
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144 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 ...
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2answers
281 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 ...
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440 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, ...
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1answer
222 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
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1answer
400 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 ...
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100 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 ...
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2answers
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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 ...
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1answer
305 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 ...
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1answer
2k 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 ...
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490 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 ...