# Questions tagged [lie-algebra]

A vector space $\mathfrak{g}$ over some field $F$ and kitted with a bilinear, antisymmetric and Jacobi-identity-fulfilling product ("Lie Bracket" or "commutator"). In physics, most often arises as the Lie algebra (tangent space to the identity) of a Lie group; in gauge theories, basis vectors of the gauge group's Lie algebra correspond to Noether currents and conserved quantities.

721 questions
Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
35k views

### Comprehensive book on group theory for physicists?

I am looking for a good source on group theory aimed at physicists. I'd prefer one with a good general introduction to group theory, not just focusing on Lie groups or crystal groups but one that ...
6k views

### Idea of Covering Group

$SU(2)$ is the covering group of $SO(3)$. What does it mean and does it have a physical consequence? I heard that this fact is related to the description of bosons and fermions. But how does it ...
4k views

1k views

### When do phase space functions' Poisson brackets inherit the Lie algebra structure of a symmetry?

I've seen several examples of phase space functions whose Poisson brackets (or Dirac brackets) have the same algebra as the Lie algebra of some symmetry. For example, for plain old particle motion in ...
3k views

### Fundamental Representation of $SU(3)$ is a complex representation

Let in a $D(R)$ dimensional representation of $SU(N)$ the generators, $T^a$s follow the following commutation rule: $\qquad \qquad \qquad [T^a_R, T^b_R]=if^{abc}T^c_R$. Now ...
1k views

### Lie group of Schrodinger Wave equation

In Ballentine's book on quantum mechanics (in 3rd chapter), he introduces the symmetry transformation of Galilean group associated with Schrodinger equation. Now the Galilean group as such has 10 ...
2k views

### Why Lie algebras if what we care about in physics are groups?

In physics, we want irreducible representations of the symmetry group of our system. However, one frequently sees representations of the corresponding Lie algebra being studied instead. Is it that in ...
4k views

### What exactly is the connection between the Jacobi and Bianchi identities?

While reviewing some basic field theory, I once again encountered the Bianchi identity (in the context of electromagnetism). It can be written as $$\partial_{[\lambda}\partial_{[\mu}A_{\nu]]}=0.$$ ...
531 views

### How does complexifying a Lie algebra $\mathfrak{g}$ to $\mathfrak{g}_\mathbb{C}$ help me discover representations of $\mathfrak{g}$?

I have been studying a course on Lie algebras in particle physics and I could never understand how complexifying helps us understand the original Lie algebra. For example, consider $\mathfrak{su}(2)$...
2k views

### Lie bracket for Lie algebra of $SO(n,m)$

How does one show that the bracket of elements in the Lie algebra of $SO(n,m)$ is given by $$[J_{ab},J_{cd}] ~=~ i(\eta_{ad} J_{bc} + \eta_{bc} J_{ad} - \eta_{ac} J_{bd} - \eta_{bd}J_{ac}),$$ ...
3k views

### Lie algebra and Lie group about quantum harmonic oscillator

We know that in the quantum harmonic oscillator $H=a^\dagger a$, $a^\dagger$, $a$, $1$ will span a Lie algebra, where $a, a^\dagger$ are the annihilation and creation operators, and $H$ is the ...
8k views

### Infinitesimal Lorentz transformation is antisymmetric

The Minkowski metric transforms under Lorentz transformations as \begin{align*}\eta_{\rho\sigma} = \eta_{\mu\nu}\Lambda^\mu_{\ \ \ \rho} \Lambda^\nu_{\ \ \ \sigma} \end{align*} I want to show that ...
2k views

### Confusion about rotations of quantum states: $SO(3)$ versus $SU(2)$

I'm trying to understand the relationship between rotations in "real space" and in quantum state space. Let me explain with this example: Suppose I have a spin-1/2 particle, lets say an electron, ...
570 views

### What is “broken symmetry”?

For reference, I come from a mathematics background (mostly differential geometry). I have a very limited understanding of upper-level physics (I'm currently trying to fix this). This is my current ...
2k views

### Noether's Theorem: Lie groups vs. Lie algebras; finite vs. infinitesimal symmetries

I've had a brief look through similar threads on this topic to see if my question has already been answered, but I didn't find quite what I was looking for, perhaps it is because I'm finding it hard ...
3k views

### What is the significance of Lie groups $SO(3)$ and $SU(2)$ to particle physics?

I was hoping someone could give an overview as to how the Lie groups $SO(3)$ and $SU(2)$ and their representations can be applied to describe particle physics? The application of Lie groups and their ...
2k views

### Tensor decomposition under $\mathrm{SU(3)}$

In Georgi's book (page 143), he calculates the tensor components of $3\otimes 8$ under the $\mathrm{SU(3)}$ explicitly using tensor components. Namely; $u^{i}$ (a $3$) times $v^{j}_k$ (an $8$, meaning ...
789 views

### Invariance under boosts but not rotations?

I am aware that there are 6 independent infinitesimal Lorentz transformations that can be separated into 3 rotations and 3 boosts. Is it possible for a quantum field theory to be invariant under the ...
552 views

533 views

### Is there a generalised Wigner-Eckart theorem?

The Wigner-Eckart theorem gives you the matrix element of a tensor transforming according to a representation of $\mathfrak{su}(2)$, when sandwiched between vectors transforming according to another (...
3k views

### The conjugate representation in $\mathfrak{su}(2)$

Cheng & Li gives the following problem: Let $\psi_1$ and $\psi_2$ be the bases for the spin-1/2 representation of $\mathfrak{su}(2)$ and that for the diagonal operator $T_3$, \begin{align} ...
354 views

### Group representations as vectors and isomorphism between weights and matrix generators

This might be something basic, but it is unclear to me. So I am used to work with representations of groups as matrices. These matrices represent the structure of the Lie algebra by satisfying the ...
1k views

### Why are the generators of rotation in the 4-dimensional Euclidean space correspond to rotations in a plane?

In three-dimensions, the rotation generators are represented by $J_1$, $J_2$ and $J_3$ where $1,2,3$ respectively stands for the generator of rotation about $x,y,z$ axes respectively. In general, in ...
6k views

### Killing vector fields

I am facing some problems in understanding what is the importance of a Killing vector field? I will be grateful if anybody provides an answer, or, refer me to some review or books.
3k views

### Generators of Poincare Groups

How can I determine the generators of the Poincare Group, $P(1,3)$ explicitly? Here $P(1,3)$ means a matrix Lie group.