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Published byEdgar Hemsley Modified about 1 year ago

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Symmetry and Conservation Physics 100 Chapt 7

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Temple of heaven (Beijing)

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Snowflakes 60 0

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Rotational symmetry No matter which way I turn a perfect sphere It looks identical

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Space translation symmetry Mid-west corn field

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Time- translation symmetry in music

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Time-translation symmetry in the Bible Ecclesiastes 1.6-7

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Prior to Kepler, Galileo, etc God is perfect, therefore nature must be perfectly symmetric: Planetary orbits must be perfect circles Celestial objects must be perfect spheres

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Kepler: planetary orbits are ellipses; not perfect circles

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Galileo: There are mountains on the Moon; it is not a perfect sphere!

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Critique of Newton’s Laws What is an inertial reference frame?: a frame where the law of inertia works. Circular Logic!! Law of Inertia (1 st Law): only works in inertial reference frames.

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Newton’s 2 nd Law F = m a But what is F? whatever gives you the correct value for m a Is this a law of nature? or a definition of force? ?????

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But Newton’s laws led us to discover Conservation Laws! Conservation of Momentum Conservation of Energy Conservation of Angular Momentum These are fundamental (At least we think so.)

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Newton’s laws implicitly assume that they are valid for all times in the past, present & future Processes that we see occurring in these distant Galaxies actually happened billions of years ago Newton’s laws have time-translation symmetry

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The Bible agrees that nature is time-translation symmetric T he thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun Ecclesiates 1.9

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Newton’s laws are supposed to apply equally well everywhere in the Universe Newton realized that the same laws that cause apples to fall from trees here on Earth, apply to planets billions of miles away from Earth. Newton’s laws have space-translation symmetry

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rotational symmetry F F a a F = m aF = m a Same rule for all directions (no “preferred” directions in space.) Newton’s laws have rotation symmetry

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Symmetry recovered Symmetry resides in the laws of nature, not necessarily in the solutions to these laws.

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Emmy Noether 1882 - 1935 Conservation laws are consequences of symmetries

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Symmetries Conservation laws Symmetry Conservation law Rotation Angular momentum Space translation Momentum Time translation Energy

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Noether’s discovery: Conservation laws are a consequence of the simple and elegant properties of space and time! Content of Newton’s laws is in their symmetry properties

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Have a nice weekend Enjoy the full moon (& the mid-autumn festival)

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