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November 3rd, 2007, 05:19 AM   #1
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torque and parity symmetry

I'm slightly confused. I thought that parity (mirror-image) symmetry was only violated in weak force interactions. However the vector nature of angular acceleration and torque (mainly the fact that the direction of the vector is toward you when the object is rotating counter-clockwise) would tend to be a smoking gun for its violation (for example, if an object is rotating, you can tell whether or not the interaction is possible by observing the direction of the angular velocity). Can anyone clarify?
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November 3rd, 2007, 12:29 PM   #2
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There are lots of asymmetrical objects. If something moves the opposite way from what you'd expect, the opposite force (or torque) was applied. No problem.
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November 3rd, 2007, 08:04 PM   #3
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Objects can freely violate parity symmetry, but I was under the impression that physical laws generally do not (with the exception of weak force interactions). This is what surprises me about torque: it is possible to have an object rotating counterclockwise with the direction of torque toward you, but the mirror image is not possible. This impossibility is what I meant by a violation of parity symmetry.
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