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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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108 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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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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239 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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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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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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258 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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246 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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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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385 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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253 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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340 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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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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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 ...
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What maintains quark spin alignments in baryons?

What maintains quark spin alignments in baryons? The $uud$ proton and $udd$ neutron are both spin 1/2, implying that two of their spin 1/2 quarks are always parallel and the other is always opposed. ...
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Relationship between local and global scaling (Weyl) symmetry

Theorem 5.1 on page 80 of this paper says that Assuming that the matter fields satisfy their equations of motion, the matter field action is locally Weyl invariant if and only if the corresponding ...
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Why is it desirable to have a symmetry to make cosmological constant zero?

It is sometimes stated that absence of a symmetry to make cosmological constant zero is a problem. But observed value of dark energy is very small and non-zero. So why is it desirable to have a ...
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106 views

Poynting vector and Rindler flux under time inversion

This question is about some reply by John Baez on sci.physics.research the post is this: https://groups.google.com/d/msg/sci.physics.research/F6x5GkFt0ic/fxsfuNl9d8gJ the article he is talking about ...
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179 views

Why Must Conserved Currents of Lorentz Symmetry Satisfy the Lorentz Algebra

I've seen it written many times that the commutation relation $[M^{I-},M^{J-}]=0$ is required for Lorentz invariance in the light cone gauge quantisation of the bosonic string. This follows ...
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CPT Violation and Symmetry / Conservation Laws

Ok, so I remember reading that every conservation law has a corresponding symmetry (i.e. conservation of momentum is translational symmetry, conservation of angular momentum is rotational symmetry). ...
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218 views

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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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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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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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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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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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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210 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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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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636 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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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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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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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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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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445 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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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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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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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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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 ...