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If we apply this operator U to Equation (3.1) from the left, we obtain UH ψ = UE ψ = E U ψ (3.3)

If U is indeed a symmetry operator then the energy associated with the ket ψ must be the same as the energy associated with the ket ψ so Hψ =Eψ or HU ψ = EU ψ (3.4)

Comparing Equation (3.3) and Equation (3.4), we conclude that UH = HU or [U, H] = 0 (3.5)

In general, the time dependence of an operator A that has no explicit time dependence itself is given by its commutation relation with the Hamiltonian dA = i[H, A] dt (3.6)

When we apply this relation to the symmetry operator U, we obtain with Equation (3.5) dU =0 (3.7) dt Operators that commute share the same eigenkets (or in the case of degeneracy, shared eigenkets can be constructed). If U is a symmetry operator, U and H commute according to Equation (3.5) and U and H share the same eigenkets (or in the case of degeneracy, shared eigenkets can be constructed). Thus the eigenvalues of U and the energy E of the physical system are observable simultaneously. Alternatively, the product of the uncertainties in the eigenvalues of U and H is proportional to the expectation value of the commutator of U and H. Because this commutator is zero, there is no uncertainty relation for the eigenvalues of U and H. Because of Equation (3.7), the eigenvalues of U are independent of time, that is they are conserved. Thus we have established a deep connection between a symmetry of a physical system and a conservation law. The argument can be reversed: if a physical system is observed to obey a conservation law, it must have a symmetry associated with it. Operators form a Group. Group Theory is a branch of mathematics that is eminently suitable to discuss symmetry operators, but it is overkill to develop its formalism just for the present application to Quantum Physics. Instead we will obtain results in a straightforward but less elegant manner.

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