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

Lost in Symmetry and Super Symmetry

  1. Dec 16, 2009 #1
    Not getting symmetry at all. I keep reading over and looking for various materials on the subject, but I still can not seem to fully grasp it. Could someone explain what symmetry means in quantum mechanics in a way that a new learner can grasp?

    This question also applies to super-symmetry.

  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 16, 2009 #2


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    That subject isn't very easy, but this post might be useful. It could at least help you understand what a symmetry is. Chapter 2 of Weinberg's QFT book is also a pretty good place to learn about symmetries.
  4. Dec 16, 2009 #3
    Thanks a ton!
  5. Dec 16, 2009 #4


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    You need to understand what symmetry means in classical physics first. Try to read post #10 in

    then go on and read the other posts in that thread.


  6. Dec 17, 2009 #5
    After doing some reading, I have found what it essentially means. In a nutshell it means that the mathematical expressions of QM are "precise" to the definition of the phenomenon, unlike classical symmetry, which are approximations.

    My question now becomes, what is the reasoning that the the QM equations are symmetrical to nature, apart from statistical proof from experiments? Isn't it going a bit far to say that these equations are 100% exact to nature? This would necessitate infinite precision.

    I ask this from a mathematical standpoint, not an ontological one.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook