Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Group consists of a set and an operation

  1. Jan 23, 2005 #1
    When physicists say "elementary particles form a group," what kind of operations and sets are in question? (I presume, a group consists of a set and an operation)
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 7, 2014
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 23, 2005 #2
    Ok, the operation for SU(n) is always matrix multiplication.
    Now my next question is, what kind of matrices are concerned? What do the elements of the matrices represent?
  4. Jan 23, 2005 #3


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    Nope,u missunderstood.They do not form a group,they are irreductible representations of continuous groups...To fully understand it,u must know group theory and their representations...

  5. Jan 23, 2005 #4
    So the continuous group has all the information and things like spin (SU(2)) are just "parts" of it?
  6. Jan 23, 2005 #5
    I have written all this in my journal. Just look for the "introduction to string theory"-entry, part one. There is a paragraphe especially dedicated to how field theories are constructed using global and local symmetries...When imposing such local symmetries, gauge-particles arise...Check it out, it is all in there

Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook