Linked Questions

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0answers
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How is group theory related to particle physics? [duplicate]

I've always heard of such statements as $SU$ group describing our world even before I seriously learned physics. When learning about spin, someone spoke of $SU(2)$ but did not seriously explain. When ...
15
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3answers
3k views

What is the basis of gauge theory?

I’m learning about gauge concepts. I’ve always had the idea that by looking at a phenomenon from different viewpoints, that symmetries could be derived – in fact, that was what an equal sign signified....
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2answers
2k views

Lie Groups and group extensions?

Is $U(1)\times SU(2) \times SU(3)$ a vector space over a field? I saw an article here that seemed to me that a similar concept to a field extension was being used. In QFT, is each particle ...
13
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3answers
4k views

If photons carry 1 spin unit, why does visible light seem to have no angular momentum?

Spin 1 silver atoms have a definite spin axis, e.g. up or down along an axis labeled X. This in turn means that they carry angular momentum in an overt, visible fashion. However, spin 1 photons do ...
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4answers
1k views

Why gauge theories have such a success?

[This question was inspired by a identical question asked on a other forum] Note that we may morally include general relativity in the gauge theories. We may have several (some are deliberately ...
29
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1answer
1k views

How does the Super-Kamiokande experiment falsify SU(5)?

In his book "The Trouble With Physics", Lee Smolin writes that he is still stunned by the falsification of the $SU(5)$ Georgi-Glashow model by the null results of proton decay experiments. I should ...
2
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4answers
785 views

Two soft questions about spin and the particle nature of electrons

How can we define spin as the spin of an electron around it's own axis if an electron is described by a probability cloud of finding an electron in a point in space? How does that probability cloud ...
2
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1answer
3k views

Partially polarized light with jones vectors?

I have read that polarized light is treated by Jones vectors and that to treat partially polarized light you have to use Stokes vectors and mueller matrices. Nonetheless, the optics notes that my ...
3
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3answers
2k views

$SO(3)$, $SU(2)$ and symmetries in quantum mechanics [duplicate]

A rotation in the vector space $\mathbb{R}^3$ is represented by the known 3x3-matrices. But at this point I'm really confused how to get from there to Quantum Mechanics. The group of $\mathrm{SO}(3)$...
7
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1answer
506 views

A Puzzle about $SO(3)$

Lie algebra of nonabelian group is $[T^a,T^b]=if^{abc}T^c$. For $SO(3)$ case, is the representation $T^a_{ij}=-i\epsilon^{aij}$ fundamental or adjoint? The fundamental representation is defined as ...
5
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1answer
201 views

Existence of spin-$\frac{1}{2}$ representation corresponds to $\text{SO}(3)$ having double cover?

I come across this article: https://skullsinthestars.com/2016/03/29/1975-neutrons-go-right-round-baby-right-round/ I quote here a part of this article: Spin 1/2 particles like the electron, ...
3
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1answer
1k views

The role of SO(3) and SU(2) in quantum mechanics [duplicate]

When studying the irreducible representations of SO(3) one usually looks at the irreps of the infinitesimal rotations instead, i.e. the ones of so(3), the Lie Algebra of SO(3). The Irreps of so(3) can ...
2
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1answer
955 views

Spinor formalism in QFT

We can describe fields by two formalisms: vector and spinor. This is the result of possibility of representation of the Lorentz's group irreducible rep as straight cross product of two $SU(2)$ or two $...
3
votes
1answer
430 views

Quantization of angular momentum in $SO(3)$

When hermitian operators $L_1, L_2, L_3$ follow the commutation relations: $$ [L_1,L_2]=i\;L_3 \\ [L_2,L_3]=i\;L_1 \\ [L_3,L_1]=i\;L_2 $$ one can show that, assuming they are in finite number, their ...
2
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2answers
188 views

$SU(2)$ vs $SO(3)$ in Quantum Mechancs [duplicate]

When we're talking about spatial rotations is quantum mechanics, why do we need to resort to $SU(2)$? Why isn't $SO(3)$ enough? I've read that $SO(3)$ isn't simply connected, and I've read about ...

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