
#1
Dec813, 11:38 PM

P: 81

The lorentz group SO(3,1) is isomorphic to SU(2)*SU(2). Then we can use two numbers (m,n) to indicate the representation corresponding to the two SU(2) groups. I understand (0,0) is lorentz scalar, (1/2,0) or (0,1/2) is weyl spinor. What about (1/2, 1/2)? I don't get why it corresponds to lorentz vector. Thanks a lot.




#2
Dec913, 02:34 AM

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HW Helper
PF Gold
P: 2,606

Since these are matrix groups, we can derive the representations of the group from those of the algebra. So the representation theory of ##SO(3,1)## corresponds in a particular way to that of ##SU(2)\times SU(2)##, even though the groups aren't isomorphic. 



#3
Dec913, 11:54 AM

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P: 2,470





#4
Dec913, 12:21 PM

Mentor
P: 6,044

The representation of Lorentz group
Matrices are subsets of ##\mathbb{R}^N## for some appropriate ##N##. Consequently, by the HeineBorle theorem, compactness is equivalent to closed and bounded.
Consider the the subgroup of the Lorentz group ##SO(3,1)## that consists of boosts along a fixed axis (say, the xaxis) in a particular inertial reference frame. This group is homeomorphic to ##\mathbb{R}##, which is neither closed nor bounded. 



#5
Dec913, 12:44 PM

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Thanks
P: 3,860

For a continuous group G, one defines a volume element in the group space, dv = dξ_{1} dξ_{2}... dξ_{n}, which is invariant under group operations. Then V = ∫_{G} dv is the total volume, and G is compact or noncompact depending on whether V is finite or infinite.




#6
Dec913, 01:17 PM

Sci Advisor
P: 2,470

But can I simply say that SO(3, 1) does not contain its limit points, and therefore, by definition, not compact? Or is there a nuance I'm missing?




#7
Dec913, 02:34 PM

Mentor
P: 6,044

Limit point compactness and (actual) compactness are equivalent for second countable Hausdorff spaces, which is the situation here. ##A \subset X## is limit point compact if every infinite subset of ##A## has a limit point. Negating this gives ##A \subset X## is not limit point compact if there exists an infinite subset of ##A## that does not have a limit point. Take ##A=SO(3,1)## and ##X=\mathbb{R}^{16}## (4x4 matrices). It's not that ##A## doesn't contain all its limit points, it's that there are infinite subsets of ##A## that don't have any limits points. $$ \begin{pmatrix} \cosh n & \sinh n & 0 & 0\\ \sinh n & \cosh n & 0 & 0\\ 0 & 0 & 1 & 0\\ 0 & 0 & 0 & 1 \end{pmatrix} $$ for all integers ##n##. There exist neighbourhoods of each such matrix that don't contain any other matrices of the same form. Thus ##A## does not *any* limits points (even ones that don't "live in" in ##A##). Consequently, ##A = SO(3,1)## is not compact. 



#8
Dec913, 02:42 PM

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#9
Dec1313, 04:09 PM

P: 514

An invariant integral over group parameters will include a multiplier that's a function of the parameters. It can be shown that for a group and set of parameters for it, this multiplier is unique to within overall multiplication. That multiplier is called the Haar measure.
The groups SO(p+q) and SO(p,q) are isomorphic for complex parameters, though not for real parameters. To turn SO(p+q) into SO(p,q), turn the parameters into suitable complex combinations of them. One can find the tensor combinations of vectors and spinors by using the theory of Liealgebra representations. This is a generalization of the quantummechanical theory of angular momentum. I can go into more detail for anyone who might be interested, like work out 2tensors. 



#10
Dec2613, 07:07 PM

P: 514

A representation can be (1) some matrices that realize the group elements and (2) a basis set for those matrices. For Lie algebras, like U(1), SU(n), and SO(n), it's often much easier to use the basis sets than the matrices, and most of what one usually wants to know one can learn from the basis sets. In field theories, the structure of a field comes from basis sets of representations or reps of the symmetry groups that the field is subject to. Groups like spacetime symmetries and gauge symmetries.
Of special interest are irreducible representations or irreps. Their matrices cannot be reduced to every one having the same blockdiagonal form. If it can, then each block can be extracted to form a new set of rep matrices, thus making the original rep reducible. Let's now look at the irreps of various algebras. U(1) is easy. It has one operator L, and each irrep X(h) has an eigenvalue h which can have an arbitrary value: L.X(h) = h*X(h) Its rep matrices: {{exp(i*h*a)}} for parameter a. SU(n) is more complicated, but its basic ideas are fairly easy. It has a "fundamental representation", a nvector, an object with one index that varies from 1 to n. Additional reps are formed as tensors, objects with several indices. Irreps have various symmetries. 2tensor irreps are symmetric and antisymmetric, and 3tensor irreps and higher have not only symmetric and antisymmetric ones, but also mixedsymmetry ones. There is a nice graphical technique for working with SU(n) reps: Young diagrams. There is even a Youngdiagram technique for finding products of reps: the LittlewoodRichardson rule. SO(n) is even worse. The vector and tensor reps carry over from SU(n) with some complications, and there are also spinor reps and various combinations of tensors and spinors (a vector is a 1tensor). For tensors, one has the complication that tensors δ_{ij} (the Kronecker delta or identity matrix) and ε_{i1,i2,...,in} (the antisymmetric symbol) are invariant in SO(n) making them effectively scalars (singlets). Thus, a symmetric 2tensor breaks down into a symmetric traceless 2tensor and a scalar. For SO(2n), an antisymmetric ntensor breaks down into two parts, a selfdual one and an antiselfdual one, depending on the sign one gets when one multiplies it by the antisymmetric symbol. I don't know of any Youngdiagrambased technique for handling the effects of these SO(n) invariants. Spinors are rather complicated. For SO(2n+1), there is one spinor irrep, with dimension 2^{n}. But in SO(2n), it breaks into two irreps, both with dimension 2^{n1}. 



#11
Dec2613, 08:01 PM

P: 514

Let's now look at the lowest SO(n)'s.
SO(2) is isomorphic to U(1). Its vector rep is reducible: (1) + (1). It has two spinor reps: (1/2) and (1/2). Looking at 2tensors, its symmetric traceless tensor is (2) + (2), its symmetrictensor Kdelta is (0), and its antisymmetric tensor is a scalar: (0). For SO(3) and higher, the vector and the symmetric traceless tensor are all irreducible. SO(3) is isomorphic to SU(2), and it's also the algebra of quantummechanical angular momentum. A scalar has angular momentum j = 0, a vector j = 1, a symmetric traceless 2tensor j = 2, and a spinor j = 1/2. An antisymmetric 2tensor is equivalent to a vector (j = 1), by multiplying by the antisymmetric symbol. SO(4) is isomorphic to SU(2)*SU(2), and we denote its states by a pair of angular momenta (j1,j2). A scalar is (0,0), a vector is (1/2,1/2), the two spinors are (1/2,0) and (0,1/2), and a symmetric traceless 2tensor is (1,1). An antisymmetric 2tensor breaks down into selfdual and antiselfdual parts: (1,0) + (0,1). For SO(5) and higher, the antisymmetric 2tensor is irreducible. It's also interesting to look at how the Riemann tensor breaks down. In SU(n), it's given by the Young diagram @@ @@ with dimension n^{2}(n^{2}1)/12 Some simpler ones: Vector: n @ Symmetric 2tensor: n(n+1)/2 @@ Antisymmetric 2tensor: n(n1)/2 @ @ For SO(n): SO(2): (0)  the Ricci scalar SO(3): (2) + (0)  the Ricci tensor (symmetric 2tensor) SO(4): (2,0) + (0,2) + (1,1) + (0,0)  the first two are the Weyl tensor and the last two the Ricci tensor (symmetric 2tensor) 


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