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Quantum Mechanics by Giorgio Parisi, Mauro Fortunato, Gennaro Auletta

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8

Symmetries and conservation laws

A symmetry is an equivalence of different physical situations, and is therefore strictly associated with the concept of invariance. One of the main aims of physics is the search in nature for symmetries and, therefore, for observables that are invariant under certain classes of transformation. In this context, it becomes particularly interesting to look for the conditions under which a certain symmetry is eventually broken. We have already discussed some symmetries of quantum mechanics: time translations (Ch. 3), space translations (Ch. 20) and rotations (Ch. 6). Another example of invariance is represented by the indistinguishability of identical particles, which we discussed in the previous chapter.

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