CHANG, Z (reprint author), INT CTR THEORET PHYS,POB 586,TRIESTE,ITALY.
This is a self-contained review on the theory of quantum group and its applications to modern physics. A brief introduction is given to the Yang-Baxter equation in integrable quantum field theory and lattice statistical physics. The quantum group is primarily introduced as a systematic method for solving the Yang-Baxter equation. Quantum group theory is presented within the framework of quantum double through quantizing Lie bi-algebra. Both the highest weight and the cyclic representations are investigated for the quantum group and emphasis is laid on the new features of representations for q being a root of unity. Quantum symmetries are explored in selected topics of modern physics. For a Hamiltonian system the quantum symmetry is an enlarged symmetry that maintains invariance of equations of motion and allows a deformation of the Hamiltonian and symplectic form. The configuration space of the integrable lattice model is analyzed in terms of the representation theory of quantum group. By means of constructing the Young operators of quantum group, the Schrodinger equation of the model is transformed to be a set of coupled linear equations that can be solved by the standard method. Quantum symmetry of the minimal model and the WZNW model in conformal field theory is a hidden symmetry expressed in terms of screened vertex operators, and has a deep interplay with the Virasoro algebra. In quantum group approach a complete description for vibrating and rotating diatomic molecules is given. The exact selection rules and wave functions are obtained. The Taylor expansion of the analytic formulas of the approach reproduces the famous Dunham expansion.