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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What physical significance has the Heisenberg Group?

I read that the canonical commutation relation between momentum and position can be seen as the Lie Algebra of the Heisenberg group. While I get why the commutation relations of momentum and momentum, ...
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If Poisson Bracket of Momentum and Position is non-zero, why no Uncertainty Principle?

In Hamiltonian classical mechanics, we have that the Poisson bracket of position and momentum satisfies $$\{q_i, p_j\} = \delta_{ij}$$ But this implies that momentum and position 'generate' changes ...
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How are quadruple gluon vertices related to $SU(2)$ and $SU(3)$?

I once read that the non-commutativity of the Lie Groups $SU(2)$ and $SU(3)$ is the reason that the weak and strong interactions have Feynman diagrams with quadruple vertices, where four gauge bosons ...
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Number of the Generators of Poincare Group

It is said that the Poincare group, $P(3,1)$ has $10$ generators. $6$ of them are the generators of the Lorentz group, $O(3,1)$ and the other $4$ generators are the generators of $4D$ translational ...
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665 views

Interpretation of the field strength tensor in Yang-Mills Theory

In Yang-Mills theory the field strength tensor $F_{\mu \nu}$ can be calculated as \begin{equation} F_{\mu\nu} \equiv \frac{i}{g} [D_\mu,D_\nu] = \partial_\mu A_\nu - \partial_\nu A_\mu -ig[A_\mu,A_\nu]...
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Difference between Lorentz group and Poincare group

I am currently studying the proper orthochronous Lorentz group $\text{SO}^+(1,3)$ and I have run into some confusion. I started by defining the Poincare group to be the set of all transformations ...
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Deriving Virasoro algebra question

I'm reading a book Lie groups, Lie algebras, cohomology and some applications in physics by Azcarraga and Izquierdo, and on page 347, when deriving the exact form of the central extension term I came ...
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Proof that (1/2,1/2) Lorentz group representation is a 4-vector

Taken from Quantum Field Theory in a Nutshell by Zee, problem II.3.1: Show by explicit computation that $(\frac{1}{2},\frac{1}{2})$ is indeed the Lorentz vector. This has been asked here: How do I ...
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Broken symmetries realized nonlinearly

I'm trying to understand some concepts of spontaneous symmetry breaking, I'll write first the statement that I can't understand and later my questions. STATEMENT Consider a group $G$ and a subgroup $...
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What does Addition of Angular Momenta tell us about Group Theory?

I've come across this a lot, but I've never understood it. I do know basic Group Theory including Lie Groups. In Introduction to Quantum Mechanics, Griffiths ends the chapter on spin with the remark ...
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Branching rules for $SU(3)$

How does one compute the branching rules for $SU(3)\to SU(2)\times U(1)$.? In particular, I do not know how to put the abelian charges. Take for example the adjoint $\mathbf{8}$ of $SU(3)$. I can ...
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Question on conserved quantities and Noether's theorem

I have a question about Noether's theorem in the context of QM, which I'll state in the context of the weak interaction but the basic point could be generalized. According to Noether's theorem, given ...
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265 views

Where in fundamental physics are Lie groups actually important (and not just Lie algebras)?

I was wondering where in fundamental physics the global structure of a Lie group actually makes a difference. Most of the time physicists are sloppy and don't distinguish groups and algebras ...
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explicit matrix elements for a representation decomposed into subgroup by branching rules

I'm looking for a way to construct a representation for a simple Lie group such that one particular subgroup is manifest. I learned the branching rules from Cahn, Georgi and Slansky, but I'm still not ...
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Rotation Group and Lorentz Group

It is often stated that rotations in the 3 spatial dimensions are examples of Lorentz transformations. But Lorentz transformations form a group named the Lorentz Group, $O(1,3)$ which is a group a $...
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Holstein-Primakoff and Dyson-Maleev representation

In Holstein-Primakoff and Dyson-Maleev representation, spin operators are represented by bosonic operators. Roughly speaking, a state with $S^z=S-m$ corresponds to a state containing $m$ bosons. In ...
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Scalar field transformation and generators

When we do a transformation (norm preserving one) for a given quantity, from what I have understood it seems like there is a representation of the group element for each quantity depending how they ...
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241 views

Does a Super Noether Theorem exist?

I am wondering if an extension of Noether theorem to supergroups exists. In particular the analogy with the usual case should be that supersymmmetries are in 1 to 1 correspondence to certain "currents"...
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Problem counting spin states

I can't figure out how many different spin states I can create with a four-electron system. I think I can create a spin-zero state, three spin-one states, and five spin-two states. That gives me nine ...
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Lie group compactness from generators

Let us consider the Poincaré algebra, characterized by the following commutators: \begin{align} [H,P_i]&=0\\ [H,K_i]&=P_i\\ [P_i,P_j]&=0\\ [K_i,K_j]&=-\epsilon_{ijk}J_k\\ [P_i,K_j]&...
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203 views

Clever way to show a property of Lie transformation

Given the following Lie transformation: $$ \exp(\lbrace H, \cdot \rbrace):=\sum_{n=0}^{\infty} \frac{(\lbrace H, \cdot \rbrace)^n}{n!} $$ and apply it to a Poisson Bracket $\lbrace g_1, g_2 \...
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$SU(2)$ gauge symmetry

Take the Lagrangian with one fermion: $$ \mathcal{L} = -\frac{1}{4}F^{\mu\nu}_aF^a_{\mu\nu} + \bar{\psi}(i\gamma^\mu D_\mu - m)\psi$$ where the gauge covariant derivative $D_\mu = \partial_\mu+i\frac{...
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Unitary groups and infinitesimal transformations - Schwingers way of deriving Lie groups

In Schwinger's source theory book, he suggests if $G_a$ are the hermitian generators of the Unitary group, then we have an infinitesimal transformation is given by : $$ G = \sum_{a=1}^n \delta\...
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How is the invariant speed of light encoded in $SL(2, \mathbb C)$?

In quantum field theory, we use the universal cover of the Lorentz group: $SL(2, \mathbb C)$, instead of $SO(3,1)$. The reason for this is, of course, that $SO(3,1)$ representations aren't able to ...
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Kac-Moody algebras in 5 dimensional Kaluza-Klein theory

I am trying to make sense to the issue of how does the Kac-Moody algebra encode the symmetries of the non-truncated theory. Let's contextualize a little bit. Ok, so in the 5 dimensional Kaluza-Klein ...
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What is the relationship between Cyclic Coordinates and Killing Vector Fields?

My question is related to this question. There are three or four other questions on Killing Vector Fields here, however none of them that I have seen address my question. $\\$ I've been studying ...
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Calculating an expression for the trace of generators of two Lie algebra

Suppose we have $$[Q^a,Q^b]=if^c_{ab}Q^c$$ where Q's are generators of a Lie algebra associated a SU(N) group. So Q's are traceless. Also we have $$[P^a,P^b]=0$$ where P's are generators of a Lie ...
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Why the Hamiltonian near degeneracies should be proportional to Pauli matrices?

When a quantum system have a double degenerescence at one point, the Hamiltonian should be proportional to Pauli matrices near this point (also known as diabolic point) [Ref.]. But, why the ...
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Gauge transformations and Covariant derivatives commute

I would like to understand the statement "Gauge transformations and Covariant derivatives commute on fields on which the algebra is closed off-shell" which was taken from section 11.2.1 (page 223)...
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Source of Ladder Operators

This might be a silly question but I am curious as to where the ladder operators in quantum mechanics come from. For example, in introductory texts on quantum mechanics, they try to solve the ...
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Symplectic leaves, tori and Poisson manifolds

For classical systems we can define a configuration manifold, whose cotangent bundle is a momentum phase space equipped with a closed, non-degenerate 2-form. Upon the commutative algebra of smooth ...
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How to get Gell-Mann matrices?

How to get Gell-Mann matrices $f_{i}$ (more or less strictly)? What are the requirements for getting them, excluding $||f_{i}|| = 1$, commutational law $[f_{i}, f_{j}] = if_{ijk}f_{k}$ and hermitian ...
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Decomposition of representations of the Virasoro algebra under $sl(2)$

The Virasoro algebra has a finite $sl(2)$ sub-algebra generated by $L_{-1}$, $L_0$ and $L_{+1}$. Let's consider a unitary highest weight representation of the Virasoro algebra with conformal weight $h&...
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Equivalent Rotation using Baker-Campbell-Hausdorff relation

Is there a way in which one can use the BCH relation to find the equivalent angle and the axis for two rotations? I am aware that one can do it in a precise way using Euler Angles but I was wondering ...
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216 views

Charge of a field under the action of a group

What does it mean for a field (say, $\phi$) to have a charge (say, $Q$) under the action of a group (say, $U(1)$)?
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$SU(2)$ and $SO(3)$ WZW models

It seems that the $SU(2)_1$ and $SO(3)_1$ Wess-Zumino-Witten models are quite different despite the Lie algebras being identical. The $SO(3)_1$ model has central charge 3/2 and is equivalent to 3 ...
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What is a Borel subalgebra?

Borel subalgebra appears here https://arxiv.org/abs/hep-th/9508170 in the context of quantum double of $SU(2)$. I request a layman explanation of what a Borel subalgebra is.
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Why is supersymmetry a continuous symmetry?

Supersymmetry feels like a discrete symmetry to me, since the fermions are turning into bosons, and vice versa. I understand there is an infinitesimal parameter involved in the transformations, but I ...
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Dimension and Basis properties of $SU(N)$

$SU(N)$ is the group of special unitary matrices of dimension $N$, i.e., the set of all unitary ($U^{\dagger}U=I$) $N\times N$ matrices with $\det(U)=1$. For $N=2$, these matrices are spanned by the ...
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Complete derivation of generator of rotations

I have been look all across the internet and every book I could find trying to get a full derivation of the generator of rotations and more specifically angular momentum as a generator of rotations. I ...
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Introduction to Physical Content from Adjoint Representations

In particle Physics it's usual to write the physical content of a Theory in adjoint representations of the Gauge group. For example: $24\rightarrow (8,1)_0\oplus (1,3)_0\oplus (1,1)_0\oplus (3,2)_{-\...
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Simultaneously commuting set

How does one determine the members of an simultaneously commuting set (of operators)? For example, I have read that for orbital angular momentum, the set is {$H,L^2,L_z$}. How does one know that these ...
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How do the properties of a Lie group (represented as a manifold) manifest in the metric tensor of that manifold?

I know this is a math question; however, physicists are more likely to be familiar with what I'm asking (also, I'm directly trying to utilize it in the context of general relativity). I may have ...
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712 views

$\mathfrak{su}(3)$ structure constants

The $\mathfrak{su}(3)$ structure constants $f^{abc}$ are defined by $$[T^a,T^b] = i f^{abc} T^c,$$ with $T^a$ being the generators of the group $\mathrm{SU}(3)$. They are usually written out in a very ...
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Where does in GUT symmetry breaking $U(1)$ come from?

In GUTs one starts with some larger group, like $SU(5)$, which is then broken into smaller groups, for example $$SU(5) ~\longrightarrow~ SU(3) \times SU(2) \times U(1)$$ This can be seen, for ...
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The relationship between Lorentz Lie algebra and curvature

Here I transfered the question from the comment The relationship between spin and spinor curvature How $\mathcal{R}_{ab} = \frac{1}{4}R_{abst}\gamma^s \gamma^t$ is from $\Psi \mapsto \Psi + \frac{1}{...
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Question about the Killing form in Georgi

I'm trying to understand the Killing form described on page 49 in the book by Howard Georgi. He starts by saying that one defines the inner product between two generators $T_a$ and $T_b$ in the ...
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Equivalent Representations of Clifford Algebra

I'm reviewing David Tong's excellent QFT lecture notes here and am a little confused by something he writes on page 94. We've considered the standard chiral representation of the Clifford Algebra, ...
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785 views

Wigner-Eckart theorem of SU(3)

I have just come across the Wigner-Eckart theorem and am not sure on how to apply it. How do I find the matrix elements of $\langle u|T_a|v\rangle$ in terms of tensor components and the Gell-Mann ...
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Gauge covariant derivative on form

Let $e$ be a one-form gauge field that belongs to the adjoint representation of the gauge group, that is SO(1,2). It is defined as \begin{equation} e = e_{\alpha}^{A}T_Adx^{\alpha}. \end{equation} ...