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Questions tagged [group-theory]

Group theory is a branch of abstract algebra. A group is a set of objects, together with a binary operation, that satisfies four axioms. The set must be closed under the operation and contain an identity object. Every object in the set must have an inverse, and the operation must be associative. Groups are used in physics to describe symmetry operations of physical systems.

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Representations of the rotation group

(I have already done a similar question, but I did not express myself very well and the question was a bit confusing, so let me try again. If you find the question repetitive, I apologize and you can ...
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What is the relation between degrees of freedom and the number of independent operator?

I studied $SU(n)$. I have two questions with that. Why are there $n$-1 diagonal operators? There are $n^{2} - 1$ degrees of freedom. Considering its operators (Hermitian and traceless matrices), ...
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Do canonical transformations form a group?

In a course on classical mechanics, we barely touched upon canonical transformations via generating functions. Just like Lorentz transformations form a group, I want to know if canonical ...
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$\mathrm{SU}(2)$ as a representation of the rotation group

I have read in a book that the group $\mathrm{SU}(2)$ is one of the irreducible representations of the rotation group. The book begin saying that the rotation group has 3 generators $J_{1}, J_{2}$ and ...
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$U(N)$ & $SU(N)$ : What's the conceptual difference in Gauge Theory?

I know the mathematical difference that one means $ absolutevalue(det) = 1$ and one means det = 1 (rotation) and that ones the subgroup of the other and so on. But: has a local/gauged $SU(3)$ ...
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Fluxes on a finite group $G$

So I've been studying about topological quantum computation and I have a few questions I haven't been able to solve. The first one is why fluxes take values on a finite group $G$? Does it have to do ...
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How to prove $(α·σ)(β·σ) = α·β +iα×β·σ$ (where, $α$ and $β$ are 3 dimensional vectors and $σ$ represents Pauli matrices)?

I tried to evaluate the LHS first and obtained the first term of RHS easily. Then i tried to use the commutation relations of $\mathrm{SU}(2)$ group to proceed further to obtain the second term of the ...
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How to construct invariant forms under the effect of an arbitrary group?

First I would like to mention that I do not know that should I post this question here or in the math community, but since my background is in physics and this kind of question is usually asked by ...
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How is possible to see that Maxwell's field have $U\left(1\right)$ symmetry?

As it is well knowing, $U\left(1\right)$ is the group of the unitary matrix of the first order and that this group is connected with rotation operations. Under the complex scalar field perspective $$\...
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Why do particle physicists often use $\otimes$ instead of $\times$ to denote the direct product of groups? [closed]

For example, sometimes one sees $SU(3)\otimes SU(2)\otimes U(1)$ instead of $SU(3)\times SU(2)\times U(1)$. My understanding is the the product here is just the usual direct product (aka Cartesian ...
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Combining SU(N) multiplets using Young diagrams

I am trying to follow the Particle Data Group's instruction (PDF link) to combine SU(N) multiplets. On page 3, they show an example calculation of SU(3)'s $\textbf 8\otimes \textbf 8$. I understand ...
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Berry phase: Spin in a magnetic field parameter space manifold

Canonical example for Abelian Bery phase is a spin in a magnetic filed, e.g.. Usually authors calculate spin eigenstates, conclude that they don't depend on B in spherical components and so deduce ...
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1answer
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Gauge group of Electroweak theory

I am doing a question that asks me to identify the gauge groups of a Lagrangian with the field strength tensors $$\bf{F}_{\mu \nu} = \partial_{\mu}\bf{W}_{\nu} - \partial_{\nu} \bf{W}_{\mu} - g\bf{...
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Dielcetric Tensor Transforms under Product Representation

How do I show that the Dielectric tensor in 2D transforms as a product of representations? I am told that the electric displacement and electric field transforms with the representation $D^v(g)$, and ...
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How to unify the rotation matrix of $SU(2)$ operator and $(z_1, z_2)$ representation?

I am following the Xiao-Gang Wen's book: Quantum Field Theory of Many-body Systems. In Ch. 5.6 about non-linear $\sigma$ model, it use a rotation operator $U$ to change the spin quantization from $z$ ...
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Why do we require gauge symmetries to commute?

My question arises after reading the 87th page of Elementary particle physics in a nutshell by Tully: which is also given by the following link: https://books.google.se/books?id=vLy2YlkXZuEC&pg=...
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Error with generators of Lorentz group (basis of Lorentz Lie algebra) [closed]

Can someone help me figure out why my $J_y$ is incorrect? :/ It's supposed to be \begin{pmatrix} 0 & 0 & 0 & 0 \\ 0 & 0 & 0 & 1 \\ 0 & 0 & 0 & 0 \\ 0 & -...
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What does matrices act on different spaces mean in QFT?

I have a Dirac kinetic term in a Lagrangian. $$ i\bar{\psi}\gamma^\mu D_\mu\psi = i\bar{\psi}\gamma^\mu\partial_\mu\psi + g\bar{\psi}\gamma^\mu\psi A^a_\mu T^a,$$ However, I usually heard that ...
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Symplectic group $Sp(2N)$ in Srednicki's book

There is a question in Mark Srednicki's Book (Problem 24.4, p.160) about $Sp(2N)$, but I am not sure I understand the significance (application?) of this group. In that chapter, he talks about $SO(N)$ ...
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How to map the symmetry property of the lattice unit cell to the symmetry properties of eigen modes

For example, in $\mathbf{r}$ space, a honeycomb lattice (like graphene) has C6v symmetry about the center of the unit cell. The ground state (singlet) eigen mode has C6v symmetry and the 1st order ...
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Basis function of $\Gamma_2$ irrep of point group $T_d$?

From Properties of the Thirty-Two Point Groups (Koster, et. al.), the basis function of the $\Gamma_2$ irrep of the point group $T_d$ is $l_xl_yl_z$, where $l$ is the angular momentum operator. ...
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Why in QFT what really matters is $\exp(\mathfrak{so}(1,3))$ instead of $O(1,3)$?

In QFT fields are classified according to representations of the Lorentz group $O(1,3)$. Now, most books when getting into this say that in order to understand the representations of $O(1,3)$ we need ...
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Representation of $SO(3)$ acting on 3-index tensors in Zee's Group Theory Book

In page 193, the book Group Theory in a Nutshell for Physicists started to explain inductively how we need to consider only the traceless symmetric (in all indices) tensors to construct $3^j$-...
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Three spin states of a spin-1 particle

For a spin-1 particle at rest, it has three spin states(+1, -1, 0, along the z axis). If we rotate the z axis to -z direction, the spin +1 state will become the spin -1 state. Can we transfer the spin ...
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Operators of the special orthogonal group $\mathrm{SO}(3)$ in 3 dimensions

My professor taught us that when we want to rotate a 3D vector we need a $3\times 3$ matrix $R$ that is a rotation matrix. The set of all these matrices is the special orthogonal group in three ...
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Confusion about Young tableaux composition rule

I'm following the rules in this document to combine irreps of $SU(N)$ using Young tableaux. If I'm not mistaken the product of two irreps should be symmetrical, that is $A \otimes B = B \otimes A$. I'...
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Why would $B_{1g}$ Raman mode still exist under $D_{4h}$ where $xx = yy$?

I come across some issues about Raman tensors under high symmetry , e.g. $D_{4h}$. A preliminary thought tells me that $x$ and $y$ are supposed to be equivalent in this point group therefore the Raman ...
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Particle spectrum in dimensional reduction

First of all, sorry if this question is a bit stupid, but my knowledge of certain aspects of particle physics and group theory is a bit limited. I am compactifying the heterotic $E_{8}\times E_{8}$ ...
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$SU(5)$ group theory: Contracting three adjoints to make a singlet

There's probably a trivial answer to my question, but I'm having trouble finding it. In an $SU(5)$ GUT, we have a gauge field, $A_{\mu} = A^{a}_{\mu}T^{a}$ which lives in the $24 (\text{Adjoint})$ ...
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Structure constants in Lie Algebra

As a nit-picking question, I wanted to clarify a point of confusion. This arises from definitions found in a plethora of books, lectures notes and even the Wikipage on structure constants and Lie ...
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How does hexagonal boundary arise in $SU(3)$ representation?

I am having trouble trying to understand the hexagonal boundary in $t_3$ and $y$ representation of $SU (3)$. I tried to work it out like we did in $SU \left( 2 \right)$ but got not luck. Could someone ...
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Do non-abelian group mathematics have any use in the real world math? [closed]

I know physics uses a lot of non-abelian mathematics (though I cannot wrap my head around ab does not equal ba).. Is there any real world (macro world we live in) uses for non-abelian mathematics? ...
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Lie Algebra in Particle Physics

In his book " Lie Algebra in Particle Physics" Georgie directly put the relation $$(1-P)D(g)(1-P)=D(g)(1-P)...(1)$$ This came from the two previous relations: $$PD(g)P=D(g)P$$ $$PD(g)P=PD(g).$$ where ...
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Parameter space of $SO(3)$ and $SU(2)$

Is it parameter space of $SO(3)$ and $SU(2)$ are same? can we use quaternions to represent both groups? what about their connectedness?
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Complex conjugated representation and its Young tableaux

This post is an exact copy of one that I posted in Math's site. I do this copy because people there suggested me to do it since, apparentely, in Mathematics and Physics we use different conventions ...
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If infinitesimal transformations commute why don't the generators of the Lorentz group commute?

If infinitesimal transformations commute as proved e.g. on this mathworld.wolfram page, why are the commutators for the generators of the Lorentz group nonzero?
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Spinor representation

I am trying to study Special unitary group of order 2 and some textbooks mention objects transform under special unitary group are called Spinors. then How can we represent a spinor using matrix?
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Selection rules with the Wigner-Eckart Theorem

Working in the $|\alpha, j,m_j\rangle$ basis (denoting all irrelevant quantum numbers by $\alpha$), the Wigner-Eckart theorem tells us that the elements of a rank $k$ spherical tensor $T_q^{(k)}$ can ...
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Fields transforming under an exceptional Lie group

We may think of tensors as sections of an associated vector bundle to a principal $\mathrm{GL}(n,\mathbb R)$ bundle, with a fibre chosen to be $\mathbb R^m \times (\mathbb R^*)^n$ - these play a role ...
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Irrep decompositions for $SO(N)$ tensors for $N>3$

How do I take a tensor products of $SO(N)$ irreps and decompose it in terms of irreps for $N>3$? (I understand the special case of $SO(3)$ we can use the nice $SU(N)$ technology of Young Tableauxs ...
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Connected components of conformal group $ {\rm Conf}(p,q)$ containing $P$, $T$ and conformal inversion are same or different?

As we known (see this post), the global conformal group for $\mathbb{R}^{p,q}$ is $$ {\rm Conf}(p,q)~\cong~O(p\!+\!1,q\!+\!1)/\{\pm {\bf 1} \}$$ The global conformal group ${\rm Conf}(p,q)$ has 4 ...
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Quantum mechanics and Group theory

Vectors are representations transform under $SO(3)$ Group, 4-vectors are representations transform under $SO(1,3)$ Group, Like wave function in discrete but infinite basis (hilbert space) are some ...
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Different global phase shifts of Pauli-$z$ Matrix eigenstates from rotations around $z$-axis

I understand the pauli matrix $\sigma_z = \bigl( \begin{smallmatrix}1 & 0\\ 0 & -1\end{smallmatrix}\bigr)$ rotates a state around $z$-axis by angle $\pi$ in $SO(3)$. We can see it works by ...
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Can I decompose a compact spacetime into conformal and $SL(2,C)$ transformations?

I've been thinking about compact spactimes lately. My understanding of the Yamabe problem is that one can always conformally transform a (compact) spacetime to one of constant scalar curvature, ...
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How to write $3\otimes3\otimes 3=10\oplus8\oplus8\oplus1$ in a tensorial way? [duplicate]

I wasn't sure how to write the title because I don't really understand this topic. Here's my question: When we are constructing hadrons we put quarks together to form higher representations of the ...
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1answer
64 views

Geometric derivation of Lorentz boosts

In two dimensions a very nice parametrization of the rotation group is obtained by the following line of arguments: The group of rotations is connected and compact. Therefore the exponential is ...
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$j=\frac{1}{2}$ addition of angular momentum

For $j=\frac{1}{2}, j'=\frac{1}{2}$ we have $$|11\rangle=|\frac{1}{2}\frac{1}{2}\rangle$$ $$|10\rangle=\frac{1}{\sqrt{2}}(|-\frac{1}{2}\frac{1}{2}\rangle+ |\frac{1}{2}-\frac{1}{2}\rangle)$$ $$|10\...
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How can I compute the spin texture for a $SU(2)$ gauge model?

I am trying to determine the helicity of 4 Dirac cones in my model, and one way I want to approach it is by plotting the spin-texture. However, I am unsure of how one would calculate the spin-texture ...
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Why quarks in the fundamental and gluons in the adjoint?

I have been told that in gauge theories “fermionic matter goes in the fundamental rep of $SU(N)$, while gauge fields go in the adjoint rep”. I understand how this works, and for instance, in QCD,...
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Bosonic commutation relations for force carriers?

Why are force carriers bosons? The easiest answer that I can give myself is that the gauge field $A_\mu$ is introduced like this: $$ \partial_\mu \rightarrow D_\mu = \partial_\mu+ieA_\mu, $$ so it ...