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THEORETICAL PHYSICS A Series of Monographs Ealted by ASIM O. BARUT BOULDER, CoLoRana Vouost: 1: Symmetry Principles in Quantum Physics, L. Fonda and G.C. Chirardi OTHER VOLUMES IN PREPARATION Symmetry Principles in Quantum Physics L. FONDA AND G. C. GHIRARDI MARCEL DEKKER, INC. New York 1970 To our parents LUCIA, MARCELLO and DINA, ALDO COPYRIGHT © 1970 by MARCEL DEKKER, INC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED [No part of this work may be reproduced or wise in any form ot by any moeass, electronic or mechanical, including | photocopying, microfilming, and recording, or by any informa fon storage and retrieval aptem, without permission in | ‘weting from the publisher ‘MARCEL DEKKER, INC, 95 Matis Avenue, New York, New York 10016 LIBRARY OF CONGRESS CATALOG CARD NUMBER: 75.121045 | ‘oer TED sam OF CA GF- 9404 Preface Symmetry considerations have acquired a very prominent role in science. It is absolutely necessary for the young physicist to become familiar with symmetry arguments and their applications to physical problems, Even if exccllent textbooks exist in which the symmetry principles are discussed and applied to particular classes of physical phenomena (typical examples being the various monographs on SU(3) symmetry for elementary particles), it semeed to us that a book by which the reader can acquire a good basis for the understanding of the symmetry problem under all the multiform aspects by which it manifests itself in modern quantum physics was still missing. We have tried here to fill this gap, ‘The subject has been organized in the following way. Chapter 1 is devoted to a general introduction to the concept of symmetry and its far-reaching consequences. Chapter 2 deals with symmetry. properties of nonrelativistic quantum mechanics. Besides the rototranslations in three-dimensional euclidean space, we discuss in detail the special Galilei transformation, and the space and time reflections, Finally, the symmetry arising from the identity of particles is discussed. The main consequences of the considered symmetry principles are derived, and the most relevant applications are discusted in detail. These first two chapters are elementary and can be used to give an introduction to the symmetry problems to undergraduate students. The reader is supposed 10 have only a good knowledge of ordinary quantum mechanics. Some knowledge of group theory may also be useful, but it is not essential for the understanding of this part. ‘The remaining part of the book requires a knowledge of the principles and methods of group theory. To make the book as self-consistent as le to the reader, we have given in Chapter 3 a concise survey of