Tagged Questions

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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2answers
710 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
612 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
443 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
695 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
291 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
votes
1answer
155 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
512 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
votes
1answer
180 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
votes
0answers
210 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
300 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
votes
1answer
442 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
votes
1answer
545 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
365 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
211 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
472 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 ...
12
votes
4answers
2k 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
524 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
424 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
votes
2answers
181 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
669 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
votes
2answers
129 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
votes
3answers
192 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
353 views

Understanding P-, CP-, CPT-violation etc. in field theory and in relation to the principle of relativity

I can never get my head around the violations of $P-$, $CP-$, $CPT-$ violations and their friends. Since the single term "symmetry" is so overused in physics and one has for example to watch out and ...
9
votes
1answer
95 views

Global symmetry in string theory

It is often stated that in quantum gravity only charges coupled to gauge fields can be conserved. This is because of the no hair theorem. If a charge is coupled to a gauge field then when it falls ...
3
votes
2answers
777 views

The Energy-Momentum Tensor and the Ward Identity

I have a question regarding a homework problem for my quantum field theory assignment. For the purposes of the question, we can just assume the Lagrangian is that of a real scalar field: ...
19
votes
1answer
589 views

Why does charge conservation due to gauge symmetry only hold on-shell?

While deriving Noether's theorem or the generator(and hence conserved current) for a continuous symmetry, we work modulo the assumption that the field equations hold. Considering the case of gauge ...
20
votes
1answer
158 views

Any use for $F_4$ in hep-th?

In high energy physics, the use of the classical Lie groups are common place, and in the Grand Unification the use of $E_{6,7,8}$ is also common place. In string theory $G_2$ is sometimes utilized, ...
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votes
3answers
2k views

Galilean invariance of Lagrangian for non-relativistic free point particle?

In QFT, the Lagrangian density is explicitly constructed to be Lorentz-invariant from the beginning. However the Lagrangian $$L = \frac{1}{2} mv^2$$ for a non-relativistic free point particle is ...
12
votes
1answer
161 views

Are possible gauge fields in a Lagrangian theory always determined by the structure of the charged degrees of freedom?

An elementary example to explain what I mean. Consider introducing a classical point particle with a Lagrangian $L(\mathbf{q} ,\dot{\mathbf{q}}, t)$. The most general gauge transformation is $L ...
17
votes
2answers
159 views

Can symmetry generators be used for quantization?

Take the Poincaré group for example. The conservation of rest-mass $m_0$ is generated by the invariance with respect to $p^2 = -\partial_\mu\partial^\mu$. Now if one simply claims The state where ...
16
votes
2answers
1k views

Is this Landau's other critical phenomena mistake?

There was an old argument by Landau that while the liquid gas transition can have a critical point, the solid-liquid transition cannot. This argument says that the solid breaks translational symmetry, ...
13
votes
2answers
3k views

Definite Parity of Solutions to a Schrödinger Equation with even Potential?

I am reading up on the Schrödinger equation and I quote: Because the potential is symmetric under $x\to-x$, we expect that there will be solutions of definite parity. Could someone kindly ...
7
votes
2answers
226 views

Particles mass determined by SO(D-2) vs SO(D-1)

I've recently come across this statement that massless particles arise from $SO(D-2)$ symetry and massive particles from $SO(D-1)$. I would have guessed that it would be the exact opposite way, but ...
3
votes
1answer
306 views

Lorentz invariance of a frequency- and wavelength- dependent dielectric tensor

Suppose we have a material described by a dielectric tensor $\bar{\epsilon}$. In frequency domain, this tensor depends on the wave frequency $\omega$ and the wave vector $\vec{k}$. Clearly not all ...
9
votes
2answers
1k views

Poincare group vs Galilean group

One can define the Poincare group as the group of isometries of the Minkowski space. Is its Lie algebra given either by the equations 2.4.12 to 2.4.14 (..as also given in this page - ...
10
votes
2answers
491 views

The Ozma Problem

The "Ozma problem" was coined by Martin Gardner in his book "The Ambidextrous Universe", based on Project Ozma. Gardner claims that the problem of explaining the humans left-right convention would ...
2
votes
3answers
387 views

About symmetry, and about electron density in crystals in particular

The book Introduction to Solid State Physics by Kittel says: "We have seen that a crystal is invariant under any translation of the form T [...]. Any local physical property of the crystal, such as ...
5
votes
1answer
956 views

Invariance of Lagrangian in Noether's theorem

Often in textbooks Noether's theorem is stated with the assumption that the Lagrangian needs to be invariant $\delta L=0$. However, given a lagrangian $L$, we know that the Lagrangians $\alpha L$ ...
1
vote
3answers
553 views

Noether's theorem and “translations” of the Hamiltonian function

In a nutshell, Noether's theorem states that for every continuous symmetry a corresponding conserved quantity exists. Now, the Hamiltonian equations of motion (let's talk about a classical system ...
5
votes
2answers
2k views

Relation between total orbital angular momentum and symmetry of the wavefunction

My question essentially revolves around multi-electron atoms and spectroscopic terms. I understand the idea that the total wavefunction for Fermions should be antisymmetric. Consider as an example, ...
12
votes
4answers
1k views

If all conserved quantities of a system are known, can they be explained by symmetries?

If a system has $N$ degrees of freedom (DOF) and therefore $N$ independent1 conserved quantities integrals of motion, can continuous symmetries with a total of $N$ parameters be found that deliver ...
2
votes
1answer
551 views

SU(N) symmetry and its representations

If a Lagrangian containing an N-multiplet of fields is invariant under global $\mathbf{SU}(N)$ transformations, does that necessarily imply it is invariant under $\mathbf{SU}(N-1)$, ...
8
votes
2answers
1k views

What does “soft” in “soft symmetry breaking” mean?

For example it is stated that if supersymmetry breaking is soft then stability of gauge hierarchy can be still maintained.
7
votes
3answers
524 views

Noether theorem with semigroup of symmetry instead of group

Suppose You have semigroup instead of typical group construction in Noether theorem. Is this interesting? In fact there is no time-reversal symmetry in the nature, right? At least not in the same ...
5
votes
2answers
684 views

Expansion in spherical harmonics in cubic symmetry

suppose I have an electrostatic potential which I expand in spherical harmonics via $$\sum_{l,m} A^l_m r^n P_l^{|m|}(\cos \theta) e^{im\varphi}$$ and I know that the field has cubic symmetry. Is ...
4
votes
2answers
224 views

How do you derive Noether's theorem when the action combines chiral, antichiral, and full superspace?

How do you derive Noether's theorem when the action combines chiral, antichiral, and full superspace?
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vote
2answers
2k views

Symmetric potential and the commutator of parity and hamiltonian

In one dimension - How can one prove that the Hammiltonian and the parity operator commute in the case where the potential is symmetric (an even function)? i.e. that [H, P] = 0 for V(x)=V(-x)
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6answers
3k views

Can Noether's theorem be understood intuitively?

Noether's theorem is one of those surprisingly clear results of mathematical calculations, for which I am inclined to think that some kind of intuitive understanding should or must be possible. ...
22
votes
5answers
4k views

What is the usefulness of the Wigner-Eckart theorem?

I am doing some self-study in between undergrad and grad school and I came across the beastly Wigner-Eckart theorem in Sakurai's Modern Quantum Mechanics. I was wondering if someone could tell me why ...
3
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1answer
1k views

Why must the deuteron wavefunction be antisymmetric?

Wikipedia article on deuterium says this: The deuteron wavefunction must be antisymmetric if the isospin representation is used (since a proton and a neutron are not identical particles, ...