Looking at the replacement
I think I see the source of my confusion. We are not talking about generators in the sense of group theory, but rather "infinitesimal generators" of a Lie group, i.e. the elements of its Lie algebra. This should be clarified somewhere. So what we are really saying is that σ_{1},σ_{2} and σ_{3} form an Rbasis of the Lie algebra su(2) of all Hermitian 2x2 matrices with trace 0, is that correct?
Also, the above link to group representation is misleading, since we are really representing a Lie algebra, not a group. I'll try to weave that into the article. AxelBoldt 20:02 Apr 29, 2003 (UTC)
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