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# 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.

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31k 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 ...
5k 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 ...
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### 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 ...
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### 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 ...
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### 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 ...
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### Do generators belong to the Lie group or the Lie algebra?

In Physics papers, would it be correct to say that when there is mention of generators, they really mean the generators of the Lie algebra rather than generators of the Lie group? For example I've ...
538 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 ...
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### 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 ...
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### 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 $$[J_{ab},J_{cd}] ~=~ i(\eta_{ad} J_{bc} + \eta_{bc} J_{ad} - \eta_{ac} J_{bd} - \eta_{bd}J_{ac}),$$ ...
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### 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 $$\partial_{[\lambda}\partial_{[\mu}A_{\nu]]}=0.$$ ...
768 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 ...
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### 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, ...
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### 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 ...
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 ...
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### 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 ...
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### 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.
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### 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.
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### 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 ...
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### Geometric/Visual Interpretation of Virasoro Algebra

I've been trying to gain some intuition about Virasoro Algebras, but have failed so far. The Mathematical Definition seems to be clear (as found in http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virasoro_algebra). I ...
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### Can Lie algebra $sl(2,\mathbb{C})$ be decomposed to direct sum of two $sl(2,\mathbb{R})$?

The number of generators of Lie algebra $sl(2,\mathbb{C})$ is 6, and $sl(2,\mathbb{R})$ has 3 generators, Can Lie algebra $sl(2,\mathbb{C})$ be decomposed to direct sum of two $sl(2,\mathbb{R})$? Say \...
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### Reference recommendation for Projective representation, group cohomology, Schur's multiplier and central extension

Recently I read the chapter 2 of Weinberg's QFT vol1. I learned that in QM we need to study the projective representation of symmetry group instead of representation. It says that a Lie group can have ...
I'm currently using Nadri Jeevanjee's book on group theory for physicists to understand quantum mechanics. I came across these two pages that left me stuck: Example 4.19 $SU(2)$ and $SO(3)$ In ...