Azimuthal symmetry

  • Thread starter Telemachus
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  • #1
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Hi there. I have this simple conceptual question, I'm studing electrostatics, and the book speaks about azimuthal symmetry. The doubt I have is, whats the difference between azimuthal symmetry and cylindrical symmetry? I mean there is any difference between those symmetries? it looks like the same kind of symmetry to me, I can't distinguish between both, but as the books are refeered to azimuthal symmetry the thing bothers my a little bit.

I'm not sure this is the right place for posting this, if its not, please just move it to the propper section.

Bye, thanks for posting.
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
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I believe azimuthal symmetry means: rotational symmetry about the z-axis.

http://www.phys.ksu.edu/personal/wysin/ED-I/notes/chap3b.html

But that's all I know.

I would think that if you had a cylinder pointing straight up so that the z-axis goes through the center then yes by definition the cylinder would have azimuthal symmetry too, please correct me if I'm wrong anyone.
 
  • #3
dynamicsolo
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The way I've seen these terms used, these all mean pretty much the same thing:

azimuthal symmetry, cylindrical symmetry, axial symmetry .

That is, a quantity having this type of symmetry has no dependence on direction perpendicular to that axis.
 
  • #4
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Thanks.
 

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