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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Curie's principle in electromagnetic field theory

I am looking for some explanation and if possible also some references about the applications of Curie's principle in electromagnetic field Theory, precisely in the computation of magnetic (resp. ...
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1k views

Spherical charge in two different dielectric materials

I am trying to freshen up my memory about electrical fields and I came across this exercise from school. A sphere with a constantly distributed charge is located in between two different dielectrics ...
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304 views

Extended Born relativity, Nambu 3-form and ternary (n-ary) symmetry

Background: Classical Mechanics is based on the Poincare-Cartan two-form $$\omega_2=dx\wedge dp$$ where $p=\dot{x}$. Quantum mechanics is secretly a subtle modification of this. By the other hand, ...
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738 views

Invariance, covariance and symmetry

Though often heard, often read, often felt being overused, I wonder what are the precise definitions of invariance and covariance. Could you please give me an example from quantum field theory? ...
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904 views

When can a global symmetry be gauged?

Take a classical field theory described by a local Lagrangian depending on a set of fields and their derivatives. Suppose that the action possesses some global symmetry. What conditions have to be ...
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752 views

What is kappa symmetry?

On page 180 David McMohan explains that to obtain a (spacetime) supersymmetric action for a GS superstring one has to add to the bosonic part $$ S_B = -\frac{1}{2\pi}\int d^2 \sigma ...
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237 views

What is a symmetry of a physical system?

If I understand correctly, in many context in physics (quantum mechanics?), a physical system is specified by giving its Hamiltonian. I also hear that symmetries are rather essential. As far as the ...
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1answer
147 views

Gravitational field v.s. Physical variable?

I went to a talk on Newtonian mechanics some time earlier and the speaker said, and I quote, Newton's equations of motion admit a larger symmetry group than the Galilean group alone. Therefore, ...
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A question on the existence of Dirac points in graphene?

As we know, there are two distinct Dirac points for the free electrons in graphene. Which means that the energy spectrum of the 2$\times$2 Hermitian matrix $H(k_x,k_y)$ has two degenerate points $K$ ...
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CP-symmetry and Ward identities and finite temperature

I have a few questions about Ward-identities which I summarize here. For each I am very greateful for answers and references to literature. Wikipedia states about Ward-identities: The ...
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1answer
108 views

A simple example of symmetry setting the properties of a Physical System

Does anybody know of an example were one could derive some important properties of a physical system from a symmetry of said system. I´m specially looking for simple classical examples, which could ...
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1answer
274 views

What are the conserved charges related to the Virasoro generators?

I have just learned from reconsidering my demystified book, that when conformally maping the worldsheet of a closed string to the complex plain by using the transformation $z = e^{\tau + i\sigma}$ ...
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682 views

A simple model that exhibits emergent symmetry?

In a previous question Emergent symmetries I asked, Prof.Luboš Motl said that emergent symmetries are never exact. But I wonder whether the following example is an counterexample that has exact ...
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184 views

Question about Noether theorem

For the Noether theorem for pseudoeuclidean 4-spacetime a-current $J_{a}^{\mu}$ is equal to $$ J_{a}^{\mu} = \frac{\partial L}{\partial (\partial_{\mu}\Psi_{k})}Y_{k, a} - \left( \frac{\partial ...
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1answer
150 views

Lorentz invariance of the wave equation

I want to show that the 2-d wave equation is invariant under a boost, so, the starting point is the wave equation $$\frac{\partial^2\phi}{\partial x^2}=\frac{1}{c^2}\frac{\partial^2\phi}{\partial ...
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1answer
141 views

Energy-momentum conservation without translation symmetry?

As I checked, the energy-momentum tensor defined as ${T^\mu}_\nu=\frac{\partial {\cal L}}{\partial(\partial_\mu \phi)}\partial_\nu \phi-{\cal L}{\delta^\mu}_\nu$ at the solution $\phi$ of equation of ...
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3answers
2k views

Noether's current expression in Peskin and Schroeder

In the second chapter of Peskin and Schroeder, An Introduction to Quantum Field Theory, it is said that the action is invariant if the Lagrangian density changes by a four-divergence. But if we ...
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239 views

Eigenfunctions in periodic potential

For Hamiltonian $\operatorname H$ and lattice translation operator $\operatorname T$, if $$\operatorname H\psi=E\psi, \qquad \operatorname T\psi=e^{ik\cdot R}\psi,$$ and $$\operatorname ...
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Galilean invariance of the Schrodinger equation

I am only asking this question so that I can write an answer myself with the content found here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Likebox/Schrodinger#Galilean_invariance and here: ...
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1k views

Emergent symmetries

As we know, spontaneous symmetry breaking(SSB) is a very important concept in physics. Loosely speaking, zero temprature SSB says that the Hamiltonian of a quantum system has some symmetry, but the ...
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671 views

Form of the Classical EM Lagrangian

So I know that for an electromagnetic field in a vacuum the Lagrangian is $\mathcal L=-\frac 1 4 F^{\mu\nu} F_{\mu\nu}$, the standard model tells me this. What I want to know is if there is an ...
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306 views

Crystal Angular Momentum

In a crystal, we don't have full translational symmetry, but we still have discrete translations. This allows us to define "crystal momentum" that is conserved modulo a reciprocal lattice vector. In ...
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2answers
131 views

What symmetries does a lattice calculation need to preserve?

I've heard that it is impossible to have a properly Lorentz-invariant lattice QFT simulation, as the Lorentz invariance is spoiled by the nonzero lattice distance $a$. I've also heard that there are ...
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556 views

Spontaneous breaking of Lorentz invariance in gauge theories

I was browsing through the hep-th arXiv and came across this article: Spontaneous Lorentz Violation in Gauge Theories. A. P. Balachandran, S. Vaidya. arXiv:1302.3406 [hep-th]. (Submitted on 14 ...
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1answer
151 views

Dimensional transmutation in Gross-Neveu vs others

Firstly I don't know how generic is dimensional transmutation and if it has any general model independent definition. Is dimensional transmutation in Gross-Neveau somehow fundamentally different ...
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Residual symmetries of the superposition of two fcc lattices

Fcc lattices are Bravais lattices and so are invariant under a set of discrete translations plus inversions over the 3 axis ($x\rightarrow -x$,$y\rightarrow -y$,$z\rightarrow -z$). When one superposes ...
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Why and how does symmetry work in circuits?

Why symmetry work in circuits? In my book there is no mention explanation as such for symmetry arguments and circuits. But there are circuits that are very difficult to solve without symmetry. Also I ...
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373 views

How do we make symmetry assumptions rigorous?

I have, for instance, a problem with a spherically symmetric charge distribution. I deduce here, in order to solve the problem easily, that the corresponding electric field must be symmetric. How is ...
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445 views

Any example of lower symmetry in high temperature phase than the low temperature phase?

All the phase transition cases I came across so far have this property: the lower temperature phase has lower symmetry than the higher temperature one. But it is nowhere explicitly said that, lower ...
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1answer
167 views

Are group representations possible when the solution space is not a vector space?

As far as I understand, the motivation for using representation theory in high energy physics is as follows. Assume that a theory has some (internal or external) symmetry group which acts on a vector ...
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2answers
244 views

Does a constant factor matter in the definition of the Noether current?

This is a very basic Lagrangian Field Theory question, it is about a definition convention. It takes much more time to typeset it than answering, but here it is: Consider a field Lagrangian with only ...
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428 views

Coulomb gauge fixing and “normalizability”

The Setup Let Greek indices be summed over $0,1,\dots, d$ and Latin indices over $1,2,\dots, d$. Consider a vector potential $A_\mu$ on $\mathbb R^{d,1}$ defined to gauge transform as $$ A_\mu\to ...
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1answer
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Physical significance of Killing vector field along geodesic

Let us denote by $X^i=(1,\vec 0)$ the Killing vector field and by $u^i(s)$ a tangent vector field of a geodesic, where $s$ is some affine parameter. What physical significance do the scalar quantity ...
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How does a snowflake “know” to form symmetrically? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Why are snowflakes symmetrical? Under ideal situations, a snowflake forms into near perfect hexagonal symmetry. How? For instance, when a water molecule moves towards ...
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109 views

Why does isotropy principle require existence of inertial transformation when axes are reversed?

Assuming one spatial and one termporal dimension, let's assume an intertial transformation $A(v)$ as follows: $$ \begin{pmatrix} t' \\ x' \\ \end{pmatrix} = A(v) \begin{pmatrix} t \\ x \\ ...
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896 views

Do an action and its Euler-Lagrange equations have the same symmetries?

Assume a certain action $S$ with certain symmetries, from which according to the Lagrangian formalism, the equations of motion (EOM) of the system are the corresponding Euler-Lagrange equations. Can ...
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Elegant approaches to quantum field theory

I have been reading Quantum Mechanics: A Modern Development by L. Ballentine. I like the way everything is deduced starting from symmetry principles. I was wondering if anyone familiar with the book ...
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1answer
246 views

Killing Vectors of BTZ black hole and their calculation in general

I was wondering what are the Killing vectors of BTZ black hole and how to guess them easily? Will it be the same as of AdS? What then will be Killing vectors for AdS-Schwarzschild e.g.?
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1answer
1k views

Local and Global Symmetries

Could somebody point me in the direction of a mathematically rigorous definition local symmetries and global symmetries for a given (classical) field theory? Heuristically I know that global ...
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395 views

Symmetries of a Free Massless Scalar in Two Dimensions

On p. 49 of Polchinski's book, he says: "Incidentally, the free massless scalar in two dimensions has a remarkably large amount of symmetry -- much more than we will have occasion to mention." Does ...
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128 views

Obtaining the conserved current of the Lagrangian making the parameter depending on $x$

To calculate the conserved current due to an internal symmetry of the system (expressed by the Lagrangian density) we can proceed as follows: if it is invariant under $\delta \phi = \alpha \phi$, ...
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263 views

Why do we classify states under covering groups instead of the group itself?

Why do we always classify states under covering group representations instead of the group itself? For example see the following picture I lifted from 'Symmetry in physics' by Gross So in the first ...
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249 views

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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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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648 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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410 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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1answer
254 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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344 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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858 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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480 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 ...