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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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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492 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
561 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} ...
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7answers
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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 ...
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1answer
230 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 ...
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503 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 ...
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0answers
337 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
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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 ...
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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, ...
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2answers
279 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 ...
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4answers
470 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 ...
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429 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 ...
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1answer
343 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
421 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: ...
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681 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
280 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 ...
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2answers
751 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 ...
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1answer
629 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 ...
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3answers
453 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 ...
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2answers
711 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 ...
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2answers
292 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 ...
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1answer
157 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 ...
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529 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, ...
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1answer
184 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?
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231 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, ...
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1answer
315 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 ...
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1answer
468 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 ...
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1answer
566 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 ...
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2answers
366 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 ...
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2answers
213 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
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1answer
484 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
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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 ...
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530 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
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2answers
429 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 ...
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2answers
184 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
701 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 ...
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2answers
130 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 ...
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3answers
198 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 ...
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1answer
356 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 ...
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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 ...
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2answers
785 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: ...
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1answer
603 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 ...
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1answer
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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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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
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1answer
181 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 ...
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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 ...
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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, ...
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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 ...
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231 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 ...
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307 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 ...