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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Symmetries of a Uniform Magnetic Field

Simple question. A system with a uniform electric field everywhere in space has translational invariance in the directions perpendicular to the electric field but no translational invariance parallel ...
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102 views

Symmetries of the action of the free classical Klein-Gordon field

I've read that the action for the free classical Klein-Gordon field $$S = \int \mathrm{d}^4x~ \mathcal{L} = \frac{1}{2} \int \mathrm{d}x^4 \left(\partial_\mu \phi(x) \, \partial^\mu \phi(x) - ...
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3answers
200 views

What is the exact meaning of homogeneity in cosmology?

I understand that, in general, homogeneity is the physical attribute of being uniform in composition (" of the same form at every point"), but I'm slightly confused when it is used in cosmology as ...
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25 views

How to prove by symmetry that tension in a section of rapidly rotating wheel act tangentially?

Suppose a thin uniform wheel of radius $r$ is rotating rapidly about its axis; its spokes have almost negligible strength. According to the book, the centripetal force is provided by the tension ...
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100 views

Does Conformal Invariance of the Polyakov Action in Conformal Gauge imply Conformal Invariance of the Pre-gauge-fixed Polyakov Action?

In bosonic string theory the Polyakov action can be put in into conformal gauge. It is then possible to show that the resulting gauge fixed action is conformally invariant. Actually it's shown that ...
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313 views

Seeking a quality plain-language description of the Wigner-Eckart theorem

I'm a third year physics undergrad with a very cursory knowledge of quantum mechanics and the formalism involved. For instance, I understand roughly how tensors work and what it means for a tensor to ...
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4answers
250 views

Is Parity really violated? (Even though neutrinos are massive)

The weak force couples only to left-chiral fields, which is expressed mathematically by a chiral projection operator $P_L = \frac{1-\gamma_5}{2}$ in the corresponding coupling terms in the Lagrangian. ...
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1answer
34 views

Particle hole symmetry of single site?

Let's consider I have a system with equal number of spin up and spin down particles Now I consider a single site of system,I have a state $c_{i\uparrow} ^{\dagger}\mid 0\rangle$ under particle hole ...
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71 views

Symmetry of Bloch Hamiltonian

If a crystal system preserve a symmetry C, why its Bloch Hamiltonian satisfy $H(C\vec k)=CH(\vec k)C^{-1} $
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1answer
86 views

What does Lee Smolin mean when he says that the most fundamental theory can have no symmetries?

Quote: There are some lazy ideas about unification that reflect uncritical thinking, such as the idea that the more fundamental a phenomena [sic] is the more symmetry it must have. When you think ...
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1answer
315 views

If a symmetry operator S in a QFT annihilates the vacuum, why does S preserve the space of 1-particle states?

In the paper "Supersymmetry and Morse Theory", on the third page (p. 663 in the journal version), Witten says: "Now in any quantum field theory if a symmetry operator (an operator which commutes ...
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2answers
82 views

What are the unitary operators for various transformation?

Transformations, at least in lagrangian-symmetries context, are usualy described as uintary operators. I dont understand what are these operators exactly. For example, let's look at the Lorentz ...
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320 views

Vibrational anharmonic coupling and noise-induced spontaneous symmetry breaking in a hexagonal finite mechanical lattice

Happy holidays, everyone! The following is part question, part visual gallery, and part classical mechanics problem. Inspired by snow over the weekend I began simulating the vibrations of the ...
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2answers
90 views

$T$-invariant Hamiltonians

If $T$ is time-reversal transformation $t\mapsto -t$, Why do $T$-invariant Bloch Hamiltonians obey $$H(-k) = T H(k) T^{-1}$$ and not $$H(k) = T H(k) T^{-1}$$ Somehow I understand the word "invariant" ...
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1answer
472 views

Traceless of stress-energy tensor in $d=2$

This is a question regarding Francesco, section 4.3.3. In this section, he considers the two-point function $$ S_{\mu\nu\rho\sigma}(x) = \left< T_{\mu\nu}(x) T_{\rho\sigma}(0)\right> $$ He then ...
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1answer
38 views

$B$ field around an infinite wire symmetry argument

Consider the infinity current carrying wire wire drawn below along with the three possible components of the magnetic field at a point a distance $r$ from the centre. I know how to use symmetry to ...
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3answers
58 views

Principle of Sufficient Reason on light travelling in straight line

I was reading a book Laws and Symmetry by Bas C. Van Fraassen I found that there is an argument for arguing that light travel in straight line: Leibniz's reconstruction of these arguments goes ...
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34 views

Symmetry arguments for valley physics in graphene with broken inversion

I am trying to understand this paper: http://link.aps.org/doi/10.1103/PhysRevLett.99.236809 (Here is an arXiv version: http://arxiv.org/abs/0709.1274) In the introduction, they mention certain ...
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24 views

Non-abelian current transformation

This is my firs post ever here and I just registered on this site but I want to say that this site has helped me a lot and you guys are great! On to the question: I have the equation of motion that ...
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1answer
27 views

Why performing axial symmetry, results in the same masses for pion and sigma mesons?

Under axial transformations, $\sigma$ and $\pi$ are rotated into each other: $\vec{\pi} \rightarrow \vec{\pi}+ \vec{\theta} \sigma $, $\sigma \rightarrow \sigma+ \vec{\theta}.\vec{\pi} $. In ...
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9answers
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Is there something similar to Noether's theorem for discrete symmetries?

Noether's theorem states that, for every continuous symmetry of a system, there exists a conserved quantity, e.g. energy conservation for time invariance, charge conservation for $U(1)$. Is there any ...
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1answer
73 views

General construction of equations of motion for free particles

I've got a question regarding the different Symmetrie-Lie-Groups of Newtonian Mechanics and special realtivity. Is there a canonical way to obtain the equations of motion for a free particle only by ...
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2answers
100 views

Possible mechanics based on the known symmetries in the nature (investigating rumor)

Somewhere I've heard about a relative new mathematical result regarding mechanics. Specifically, there is a list of the known symmetries of mechanics (both Newtonian and relativistic), i.e. different ...
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1answer
183 views

Does the projected spin state of the $d+id$ mean-field Hamiltonian on a triangular lattice has time-reversal(TR) symmetry?

Consider the following $d+id$ mean-field Hamiltonian for a spin-1/2 model on a triangular lattice $$H=\sum_{<ij>}(\psi_i^\dagger\chi_{ij}\psi_j+H.c.)$$, with $\chi_{ij}=\begin{pmatrix} 0 & ...
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How can we determine the Hypercharges in a GUT like SO(10)?

I understand how the assignment works for a symmetry breaking like $$SO(10) \rightarrow SU(3)_C \times SU(2)_L \times SU(2)_R \times U(1)_X$$ The Hypercharge can then easily computed by $$ ...
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Is the Singlet state for Helium with 2 electrons symmetric rather than anti-symmetric as is meant to be for fermions?

I'm looking at two-electron Helium atoms where one electron is in the ground state (due to if it were in other states, it's de-excitation would simply lead to the ionization of the electron). The ...
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308 views

Quantum symmetries that are not classical symmetries

An anomaly is a symmetry of the classical action that fails to be a symmetry of the path integral, due to non-invariance of the path integral measure. Does it ever occur that the opposite thing ...
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1answer
50 views

Why should Ward identities only be used with the effective action (as opposed to the generating functional for connected diagrams)?

My question is about the derivation of Ward identities. I will sketch it here in the case of an O(N) symmetric model and point out what it bothering me when I am done. I am being very sloppy with the ...
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2answers
992 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 ...
3
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2answers
841 views

Can conservation of momentum be violated?

The law of the conservation of momentum has been established for hundred of years. Even in Quantum field theory every particle collision must be momentum-conserving if there is homogenity in space. ...
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3answers
315 views

Why is Planck's constant the same for all particles?

This question came to me while reading Where does de Broglie wavelength $\lambda=h/p$ for massive particles come from? This question has a nice answer that explains that wave number has be ...
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Scalar and vector defined by transformation properties

In Classical Mechanics, we are defining scalars as objects that are invariant under any coordinate transformation. Vectors are defined as objects that can be transformed by some transformation matrix ...
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50 views

Local translations in curved spacetime

A global Poincare transformation on a scalar field induces $$\delta(a, \lambda)\phi(x) = [a^{\mu}+\lambda^{\mu\nu}x_{\nu}]\partial_{\mu}\phi(x). \tag{11.46}$$ In curved spacetime we replace $a^{\mu} ...
3
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1answer
425 views

Hamiltonian Noether's theorem in classical mechanics

How does one think about, and apply, Noether's theorem in the classical mechanical Hamiltonian formalism? From the Lagrangian perspective, Noether's theorem (in 1-D) states that the quantity ...
3
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2answers
60 views

Why do the $u$ and $d$ quark not have an associated quantum number?

All the other quarks ($c$,$s$,$b$ and $t$) have quantum numbers of charmness, strangeness, bottomness and topness that are conserved in strong interactions. This allows, among other things, flavour ...
3
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2answers
93 views

Why is $p_\phi$ conserved in a Schwarzschild orbit?

This arises from the question What is the relationship between $a$ and $m$, which I'm afraid I answered just by looking it up in Schutz's book. However Schutz (as he frequently does) glosses over ...
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370 views

Precise statement of Mermin–Wagner theorem

Roughly speaking, Mermin-Wagner theorem states that continuous symmetries cannot be spontaneously broken at finite temperature in systems with sufficiently short-range interactions in dimensions ...
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4answers
428 views

Why aren't orbitals symmetric?

In an hydrogen-like atoms the orbitals are solutions to the Schrodinger equation suitable for the problem. They describe the regions where an electron can be found. So, why don't they have spherical ...
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5answers
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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 ...
2
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131 views

Questions on the elementary excitations in the resonating-valence-bond(RVB) states?

It is known that the RVB states can support spin-charge separations and its elementary excitations are spinons and holons. But it seems that there are some different possibilities for the nature of ...
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51 views

Conserved quantities in the cart and pendulum problem

A problem on an assignment I'm doing deals with a cart of mass $m_1$ which can slide frictionlessly along the $x$-axis. Suspended from the cart by a string of length l is a mass $m_2$, which is ...
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32 views

Name for the transformation into an accelerated frame?

A transformation into a frame that looks at an experiment from a rotated perspective is called a rotation. A transformation into a frame that moves with a different constant velocity is called a ...
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55 views

Why is the electric field inside a solenoid tangential?

I have been looking at some derivations for the electric field inside a solenoid. I know how to find it, but I don't get the symmetry argument used. This is often of the form: Since if we choose ...
2
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0answers
64 views

Antimatter universe and Noether's theorem

I am studying Feynman's "symmetry in physical laws", where he talks about conservation laws for corresponding symmetries. (I know this is Noether's theorem, I am studying this from David Tong's ...
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43 views

Landau theory of phase transation

In his article http://www.ujp.bitp.kiev.ua/files/journals/53/si/53SI08p.pdf, Landau defines probability distribution $\rho$ which is related to symmetry of crystal. If crystal has certain symmetry ...
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142 views

Spontaneous Symmetry Breaking - struggling with physics based understanding?

Although I am a mathematician by nature, I'm writing an essay in my third year of my undergraduate on Spontaneous Symmetry Breaking in Physics, and as such I've become a little confused by how the ...
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306 views

Two puzzles on the Projective Symmetry Group(PSG)?

Recently I'm studying PSG and I felt very puzzled about two statements appeared in Wen's paper. To present the questions clearly, imagine that we use the Shwinger-fermion ...
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223 views

What is the symmetry associated with the local particle number conservation law for fluid?

According to Noether's theorem, every continuous symmetry (of the action) yields a conservation law. In fluid, there is a local particle number conservation law, which is ...
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1answer
93 views

Symmetry argument for a toroid?

When using Ampere's law for a toroid (in the toroid and around a circular path) please can someone explain the symmetry argument (or an alternative argument) which allows us to assume the field is ...
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36 views

How to define conserved charges in Euclidean field theory?

In a field theory with signature (1,d), conserved charges are obtained by integrating the time component of a conserved current over a spatial region. What are the corresponding equations and ...