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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3
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2answers
470 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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1answer
151 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
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1answer
336 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
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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 ...
7
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1answer
140 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
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2answers
275 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
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1answer
424 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, ...
4
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1answer
209 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
368 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
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3answers
98 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
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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
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1answer
288 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
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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 ...
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1answer
457 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 ...
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1answer
490 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
971 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
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1answer
225 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
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1answer
465 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
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0answers
329 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 ...
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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
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2answers
221 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
274 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 ...
7
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4answers
448 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
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1answer
393 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
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1answer
332 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} ...
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2answers
402 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
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2answers
648 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 ...
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1answer
276 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 ...
6
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2answers
663 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
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1answer
603 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
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3answers
435 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
673 views

What's the importance of Noether's theorem in Physics

The Noether's theorem that I want to mention is the following: Noether's theorem. I know the importance of Noether's contribution to modern algebra. Can anyone write about Noether's theorem in ...
2
votes
2answers
288 views

Correlation Functions, Symmetries and Measurements

Is there a book that goes deep into correlation functions? What I'm interested in a book/article that explains in the detail the relation of the correlation functions with symmetries and how one can ...
7
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1answer
151 views

Representation on Hilbert space of the product of two symmetry transformations

We know by Wigner's theorem that the representation of a symmetry transformation on the Hilbert space is either unitary and linear, or anti-unitary and anti-linear. Let $T$ and $S$ be two symmetry ...
6
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2answers
498 views

Why are conformal transformations so prevalent in physics?

What is it about conformal transformations that make them so widely applicable in physics? These preserve angles, in other words directions (locally), and I can understand that might be useful. Also, ...
2
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1answer
178 views

Similar masses and lifetimes of the $\Delta$ baryons

Why do the four spin 3/2 $\Delta$ baryons have nearly identical masses and lifetimes despite their very different $u$ and $d$ quark compositions?
3
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0answers
206 views

Symmetries of separable potential

For separable potential, say $x^4+y^4$, its symmetry are degenerate. Is that a generic case to every separable potential? I will explain my question: The potential $x^4+y^4$ has $A_1, B_1, A_2, B_2, ...
2
votes
1answer
293 views

How to perform a scale (invariance) transformation?

According to this wikipedia article in the $\phi^4$ section, the equation $$\frac{1}{c^2}\frac{∂^2}{∂t^2}\phi(x,t)-\sum_i\frac{∂^2}{∂x_i^2}\phi(x,t)+g\ \phi(x,t)^3=0,$$ in 4 dimensions is invariant ...
8
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1answer
426 views

Relativistic center of mass

Recently I realized the concept of center of mass makes sense in special relativity. Maybe it's explained in the textbooks, but I missed it. However, there's a puzzle regarding the zero mass case ...
10
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1answer
532 views

Time reversal symmetry and T^2 = -1

I'm a mathematician interested in abstract QFT. I'm trying to undersand why, under certain (all?) circumstances, we must have $T^2 = -1$ rather than $T^2 = +1$, where $T$ is the time reversal ...
4
votes
2answers
349 views

Is there a 1-1 correspondence between symmetry and group theory?

The professor in my class of mathematical physics introduces the definition of groups and said that group theory is the mathematics of symmetry. He gave also some examples of groups such as the set ...
2
votes
2answers
210 views

What are the limitations of the FLRW metric?

I was wondering, given how in any other area of life making an explosion spherically symmetric is more or less impossible is there any reason to expect that the universe is? I appreciate that the FLRW ...
6
votes
1answer
469 views

Time reversal symmetry and T^2 = -1

I'm a mathematician interested in abstract QFT. I'm trying to undersand why, under certain (all?) circumstances, we must have $T^2 = -1$ rather than $T^2 = +1$, where $T$ is the time reversal ...
11
votes
4answers
1k 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 ...
10
votes
2answers
514 views

Groups acting on physics - a clarification on electrons and spin

My first question is fairly basic, but I would like to clarify my understanding. The second question is to turn this into something worth answering. Consider a relativistic electron, described by a ...
2
votes
2answers
410 views

Which symmetry is associated with conservation of flux?

Which symmetry is associated with conservation of flux (e.g., in electromagnetism)? For example, when working with Gauss's law in electromagnetism, net flux through an arbitrary volume element ...
8
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2answers
176 views

More general invariance of the action functional

I will formulate my question in the classical case, where things are simplest. Usually when one discusses a continuous symmetry of a theory, one means a one-parameter group of diffeomorphisms of the ...
10
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0answers
638 views

Gauge redundancies and global symmetries

It is often said that local (gauge) transformation is only redundancy of description of spin one massless particles, to make the number degrees of freedom from three to two. It is often said that ...
7
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2answers
127 views

Group of symmetries of Lagrange's equations

Consider the following statements, for a classical system whose configuration space has dimension $d$: Lagrange equations admit a smaller group of "symmetries" (coordinate change under which ...
6
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3answers
191 views

From Manifold to Manifold?

Tensor equations are supposed to stay invariant in form wrt coordinate transformations where the metric is preserved. It is important to take note of the fact that invariance in form of the tensor ...