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Symmetries in Nuclei, Tokyo, 2008 Scale invariance Object of which a detail when enlarged becomes (approximately) identical to the object itself. Condition of self-similarity leads to properties defined in fractal dimensions.

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Symmetries in Nuclei, Tokyo, 2008 Examples of scale invariance Snow flakesLungs NeuronsTrees

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Symmetries in Nuclei, Tokyo, 2008 Symmetry in art Symmetric patterns are present in the artistry of all peoples. Symmetry of Ornaments (Speiser, 1927): analysis of group-theoretic structure of plane patterns.

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Symmetries in Nuclei, Tokyo, 2008 Symmetries of patterns Four (rigid) trans- formations in a plane: Reflections Rotations Translations Glide-reflections

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Symmetries in Nuclei, Tokyo, 2008 One-dimensional patterns

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Symmetries in Nuclei, Tokyo, 2008 Two-dimensional patterns

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Symmetries in Nuclei, Tokyo, 2008 Group theory Group theory is the mathematical theory of symmetry. Group theory was invented (discovered?) by Evariste Galois in 1831. Group theory became one of the pillars of mathematics (cfr. Klein’s Erlangen programme). Group theory has become of central importance in physics, especially in quantum physics.

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Symmetries in Nuclei, Tokyo, 2008 The birth of group theory Are all equations solvable algebraically? Example of quadratic equation: Babylonians (from 2000 BC) knew how to solve quadratic equations in words but avoided cases with negative or no solutions. Indian mathematicians (eg. Brahmagupta 598-670) did interpret negative solutions as `depths’. Full solution was given in 12 th century by the Spanish Jewish mathematician Abraham bar Hiyya Ha-nasi.

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Symmetries in Nuclei, Tokyo, 2008 The birth of group theory No solution of higher equations until dal Ferro, Tartaglia, Cardano and Ferrari solve the cubic and quartic equations in the 16 th century. Europe’s finest mathematicians (eg. Euler, Lagrange, Gauss, Cauchy) attack the quintic equation but no solution is found. 1799: proof of non-existence of an algebraic solution of the quintic equation by Ruffini?

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Symmetries in Nuclei, Tokyo, 2008 The birth of group theory 1824: Niels Abel shows that general quintic and higher-order equations have no algebraic solution. 1831: Evariste Galois answers the solvability question: whether a given equation of degree n is algebraically solvable depends on the ‘symmetry profile of its roots’ which can be defined in terms of a subgroup of the group of permutations S n.

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Symmetries in Nuclei, Tokyo, 2008 The insolvability of the quintic

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Symmetries in Nuclei, Tokyo, 2008 The axioms of group theory A set G of elements (transformations) with an operation which satisfies: 1.Closure. If g 1 and g 2 belong to G, then g 1 g 2 also belongs to G. 2.Associativity. We always have (g 1 g 2 ) g 3 =g 1 (g 2 g 3 ). 3.Existence of identity element. An element 1 exists such that g 1=1 g=g for all elements g of G. 4.Existence of inverse element. For each element g of G, an inverse element g -1 exists such that g g -1 =g -1 g=1. This simple set of axioms leads to an amazingly rich mathematical structure.

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Symmetries in Nuclei, Tokyo, 2008 Example: equilateral triangle Symmetry trans- formations are - Identity - Rotation over 2 /3 and 4 /3 around e z - Reflection with respect to planes (u 1,e z ), (u 2,e z ), (u 3,e z ) Symmetry group: C 3h.

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Symmetries in Nuclei, Tokyo, 2008 Groups and algebras 1873: Sophus Lie introduces the notion of the algebra of a continuous group with the aim of devising a theory of the solvability of differential equations. 1887: Wilhelm Killing classifies all Lie algebras. 1894: Elie Cartan re-derives Killing’s classification and notices two exceptional Lie algebras to be equivalent.

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Symmetries in Nuclei, Tokyo, 2008 Lie groups A Lie group contains an infinite number of elements characterized by a set of continuous variables. Additional conditions: Connection to the identity element. Analytic multiplication function. Example: rotations in 2 dimensions, SO(2).

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Symmetries in Nuclei, Tokyo, 2008 Lie algebras Idea: to obtain properties of the infinite number of elements g of a Lie group in terms of those of a finite number of elements g i (called generators) of a Lie algebra.

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Symmetries in Nuclei, Tokyo, 2008 Lie algebras All properties of a Lie algebra follow from the commutation relations between its generators: Generators satisfy the Jacobi identity: Definition of the metric tensor or Killing form:

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Symmetries in Nuclei, Tokyo, 2008 Classification of Lie groups RC Symmetry groups (of projective spaces) over R, C and H (quaternions) preserving a specified metric: O The five exceptional groups G 2, F 4, E 6, E 7 and E 8 are similar constructs over the normed division algebra of the octonions, O.

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Symmetries in Nuclei, Tokyo, 2008 Rotations in 2 dimensions, SO(2) Matrix representation of finite elements: Infinitesimal element and generator: Exponentiation leads back to finite elements:

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Symmetries in Nuclei, Tokyo, 2008 Rotations in 3 dimensions, SO(3) Matrix representation of finite elements: Infinitesimal elements and associated generators:

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Symmetries in Nuclei, Tokyo, 2008 Rotations in 3 dimensions, SO(3) Structure constants from matrix multiplication: Exponentiation leads back to finite elements: Relation with angular momentum operators:

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Symmetries in Nuclei, Tokyo, 2008 Casimir operators Definition: The Casimir operators C n [G] of a Lie algebra G commute with all generators of G. The quadratic Casimir operator (n=2): The number of independent Casimir operators (rank) equals the number of quantum numbers needed to characterize any (irreducible) representation of G.

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Symmetries in Nuclei, Tokyo, 2008 Symmetry rules Symmetry is a universal concept relevant in mathematics, physics, chemistry, biology, art… Since its introduction by Galois in 1831, group theory has become central to the field of mathematics. Group theory remains an active field of research, (eg. the recent classification of all groups leading to the Monster.) Symmetry has acquired a central role in all domains of physics.

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