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Exercise in Weinberg's book

  1. Aug 24, 2010 #1
    Hi all,

    I'm having trouble solving problem 3 at page 105 in Weinberg's book, The Quantum Theory of Fields, Vol. 1:

    Derive the commutation relations for the generators of the Galilean group directly from the group multiplication law (without using our results for the Lorentz group). Include the most general set of central charges that cannot be eliminated by redefinition of the group generators.

    I can do the first two steps of the problem, but I can't figure out how to see whether a central charge can be eliminated or not, and how. I also know what the final result is, i.e. the only central charge left after redefinition of the generators must be


    where m is a parameter that identifies the irreducible representation, the P's are the spatial translations generators, and the K's are the velocity transformations generators.

    Any hint?
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 25, 2010 #2


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    Read Ballentine... ;-)
  4. Aug 26, 2010 #3
    Thanks a lot, that is EXACTLY what I was looking for! :biggrin:

    The downside is that it's going to be my 32nd 600-page book on QM! :cry:
  5. Aug 26, 2010 #4
    No one understands Quantum Mechanics, don't feel bad, I'm sure many Theoretical Physicists have read more books than you on Quantum Mechanics and haven't found any deep intuition than they previously had, Quantum Mechanics is just; an aberration from what we see.
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2010
  6. Aug 26, 2010 #5


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    The contrary is true! Quantum mechanics is the only self-consistent description of nature that is compatible with what we see.:biggrin:
  7. Aug 26, 2010 #6
    Yes, but my eyes only perceive the macroscopic world described by Classical Mechanics, of course the description of light is Quantum Mechanical in nature, but it isn't necessary at these length scales, hence it is an aberration from what we "see" - without instruments.
  8. Aug 26, 2010 #7


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    And you still not going to understand it.
  9. Aug 27, 2010 #8


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    Well, at least Ballentine's modern development does a reasonable job of
    demolishing old interpretational bunkum like wavefunction collapse. :-)
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