A fully relativistic (Lorentz covariant) description, first put forward by Paul Dirac in 1928, of the first quantized, spin one half fermion with nonzero mass. Physical notions to do with this equation include the Dirac sea, Dirac hole theory, the Klein Paradox and the fine structure of the Hydrogen ...

learn more… | top users | synonyms

-1
votes
0answers
40 views

What is the quote attributed to Paul Dirac about observing a particle? [closed]

I remember reading a quote by Dirac saying that it is difficult to imagine how we can observe a particle (electron, photon) without shooting another particle at it. Does someone know what the quote ...
2
votes
0answers
55 views

Spinor Commutator in Peskin and Schroeder

In (3.87, page. 53) Peskin and Schroeder write $$\psi(\vec{x}) = \int\frac{d^{3}p}{(2\pi)^{3}} \frac{1}{\sqrt{2E_{\vec{p}}}} e^{i\vec{p} \cdot \vec{x}} \sum_{s=1,2} (a_{\vec{p}}^{s}u^{s}(\vec{p}) + ...
0
votes
0answers
25 views

Another Power Counting/ mass dimension question

Are the mass dimension of the Dirac field different from those of the Klein-Gordon field, or is this just another issue of "cannonical normalization?" For instance if $\mathcal{L}_{KG}=\int ...
3
votes
2answers
55 views

Fermion as a mixture of particle and antiparticle

The solution to the Dirac equation (in the Dirac basis) are 4 coupled fields. The first 2 of them represent a particle (spin up/down), the other 2 fields are the antiparticle (spin up/down). When the ...
1
vote
1answer
56 views

Interacting Lagrangian - Coupling constant and cutoff factor

I have a general question concerning a given interacting Lagrangian: $$\mathfrak{L}_I = \frac{g}{\Lambda^2} \bar{\chi} \ \gamma^\mu \gamma_5 \ \chi \ \partial^\nu F_{\mu\nu}$$ where $F_{\mu\nu}$ is ...
0
votes
1answer
36 views

Difference between $\psi_{\alpha}$ and and $u^{\pm}$ in Dirac fields?

What is clear difference between say Psi_1,psi_2,....psi_4 and the U+- and V+- matrices in case of dirac fields or are u,v (or some book use U^(1),U^(2)) matrices some rep of the same
6
votes
1answer
115 views

Why zero modes of the internal Dirac operator must be in representations of the isometry group of the compact space

Imagine a manifold $\mathbb{R}^{1,3}\times{}B$ where $B$ is a compact group-manifold with isometry group $U(1)\times{}SU(2)\times{}SU(3)$. Let's consider the Dirac equation for a massless Spinor ...
5
votes
1answer
57 views

Spinor reps in $\mathbb{R}^{1,3}\times{}B$ space-times

I am considering spinors in a space-time which is $\mathbb{R}^{1,3}\times{}B$ being $B$ a compact manifold of $D$ dimensions. I know that in ordinary 4 dimensional space-time spinors are ...
1
vote
1answer
54 views

Fourier Coefficents in general solution to Klein-Gordon Dirac-equation?

The most general solution to the Klein-Gordon equation is written as \begin{equation} \Phi(x)= \int \mathrm{d }k^3 \frac{1}{(2\pi)^3 2\omega_k} \left( a(k){\mathrm{e }}^{ -i(k x)} + a^\dagger(k) ...
4
votes
0answers
75 views

Dirac equation in curved spacetime - found second derivatives of the metric, violation of the principle of equivalence?

I am working on the Dirac equation on curved spacetime. A Foldy-Wouthuysen transformation was applied to obtain the semiclassical limit of the equation to study the dynamics of the spin of the ...
0
votes
0answers
19 views

Dirac Field Ehrenfest Proper Time derivative?

The Dirac Equation has a corresponding Ehrenfest time derivative for the evolution of operators relativistic quantum mechanics. Is there a similar theorem for the evolution of relativistic operators, ...
2
votes
0answers
34 views

The anapole moment, derivation from Dirac current density

Basically I am looking for a way to expand the electromagnetic interaction energy $W = A_{\mu}j^{\mu}$ (both $A$ and $j$ obtained from the Dirac equation) similar to the classical expansion in ...
2
votes
0answers
38 views

Zitterbewegung for massless particle

Is it possible for a massless particle to undergo zitterbewegung? In massive Dirac theory the Zitterbewegung frequency comes out to be $2mc^2/\hbar$. It looks like the effect will vanish for a ...
0
votes
0answers
23 views

How to show that in 1D scalar potential well there isn't pairs production (Dirac particle)

Let's have the potential $U = -V_{0}$ for $|x| \leqslant a$ and $U = 0$ for $|x| > a$. The stationary Dirac equation for bound states gives $$ tg(\frac{p_{2}a}{\hbar}) = \frac{2\Gamma}{1 - ...
3
votes
2answers
90 views

Electromagnetic current for interaction with Dirac spinors

The covariant form of the Dirac equation is given by $$(i\gamma^{\mu}\partial_{\mu} - M) \Psi(x) = 0 $$ Einstein's summation is implied here, $x=(x^0,x^1,x^2,x^3)^T$. I am simply looking for the ...
22
votes
4answers
356 views

Why fermions have a first order (Dirac) equation and bosons a second order one?

Is there a deep reason for a fermion to have a first order equation in the derivative while the bosons have a second order one? Does this imply deep theoretical differences (like space phase dimesion ...
3
votes
0answers
67 views

Proof of equivalence of different representations of the $\gamma$-matrices in the Dirac equation

This question concerns the Dirac equation and the $4\times4$ $\gamma$-matrices. The task is to prove that a similarity transformation of the standard $\gamma$-matrix conserves the commutation relation ...
0
votes
1answer
40 views

Dimension of gamma matrices in higher dimensional Dirac equations

Reading about Dirac's equation in higher dimensional space-times I have read that the gamma matrices are $2^{[D/2]}\times{}2^{[D/2]}$. So, if we have $D=11$, for example, how is this formula supposed ...
5
votes
2answers
106 views

Can we treat $\psi^{c}$ as a field independent from $\psi$?

When we derive the Dirac equation from the Lagrangian, $$ \mathcal{L}=\overline{\psi}i\gamma^{\mu}\partial_{\mu}\psi-m\overline{\psi}\psi, $$ we assume $\psi$ and ...
3
votes
1answer
83 views

Dirac operator Feynman propagator

Is it true that the following identity holds for the Feynman prescription Dirac propagator: $$ S_F(x) \stackrel{?}{=} \gamma^0[S_F(-x)]^\dagger\gamma^0 $$ where $S_F$ is defined as the Green's ...
1
vote
0answers
21 views

How to find full energy of field of an arbitrary half-integer spin?

Let's have arbitrary half-integer spin $n + \frac{1}{2}$ representation: $$ \Psi_{\mu_{1}...\mu_{n}} = \begin{pmatrix} \psi_{a, \mu_{1}...\mu_{n}} \\ \kappa^{\dot {a}}_{\quad ...
3
votes
1answer
204 views

Why do we assume that Dirac spinor $\Psi$ describe the particle, not the field?

It is a well-known fact that Klein-Gordon scalar $\Psi(x)$, $$ (\partial^{2} + m^2) \Psi (x) = 0 $$ as well as 4-vector $A_{\mu}(x)$, $$ (\partial^{2} + m^{2})A_{\mu} = 0,\quad ...
4
votes
2answers
159 views

Hamilton formalism for Dirac spinors

Let's have the Dirac free lagrangian: $$ L = \bar {\Psi} (i\gamma^{\mu}\partial_{\mu} - m) \Psi . $$ I can rewrite it as $$ L = i\Psi^{\dagger}\partial_{0}\Psi - H_{d}, \quad H_{d} = ...
2
votes
1answer
86 views

In the Dirac equation, do $\alpha$ and $p$ commute?

The Dirac Hamiltonian is given as $H = \vec \alpha·\vec pc + \beta mc^2$ , Do the alpha and beta operators commute with the momentum operator? If yes then how?
0
votes
0answers
27 views

The average value of the the square of Dirac velocity operator

Let's have Dirac velocity operator (the case of the free particle: $$ \hat {\mathbf v} = i [\hat {H}, \hat {\mathbf r}] = \hat {\alpha}, \quad \hat {H} = (\hat {\alpha} \cdot \hat {\mathbf p}) + \hat ...
2
votes
0answers
25 views

Difference between positron and electron scattering in Coulomb field

In first order of perturbation theory the S-matrix amplitude for electron scattering in the Coulomb field will be (up to normalization factors) $$ S_{fi} = \frac{iZ q^2}{\sqrt{2E_{f}2E_{i}}}\bar ...
1
vote
0answers
49 views

Chirality and helicity

I have massless Dirac equation and chirality and helicity operators which are given as $$ \hat {P}_{ch}\Psi = \gamma_{5}\Psi, \quad \hat {P}_{h}\Psi = \frac{(\hat {\mathbf S} \cdot \mathbf ...
2
votes
1answer
88 views

Confusion about Dirac mass term

In chiral basis, $\psi=\begin{pmatrix} \psi_L\\ \psi_R \end{pmatrix}$ and therefore, $\overline\psi=\psi^\dagger\gamma^0=\begin{pmatrix} \psi^\dagger_L & \psi^\dagger_R ...
0
votes
0answers
55 views

Angular momentum operator for 2 dimensions?

Recently I get the task to build (2 + 1)-Dirac theory. I wrote corresponding Dirac equation in a form $$ (i\sigma_{0}\partial_{0} + i\sigma_{1}\partial_{1} + i\sigma_{2}\partial_{2} - m)\Psi = 0, $$ ...
2
votes
0answers
64 views

The proof that Dirac's hamiltonian commutes with inversion operator

I tried to check the statement that Dirac free Hamiltonian commutes with inversion operator. For $$ \hat {P}\Psi(\mathbf r , t) = i\hat {\gamma}_{0}\Psi (-\mathbf r , t), \quad \hat {H} = (\hat ...
2
votes
1answer
366 views

Majorana mass vs Dirac Mass

Why is it said that the Dirac mass term conserves the fermion number but the Majorana mass term does not? Can someone explain this mathematically? Which breakdown of symmetry is responsible for ...
2
votes
3answers
205 views

Dirac equation in QFT vs relativistic QM

How does the Dirac equation in quantum field theory solve the existing problems in the interpretation Dirac equation (as a single-particle wave equation) in relativistic quantum mechanics? EDIT: The ...
0
votes
0answers
34 views

How to find an action of $(\hat {\sigma} \cdot \hat {\mathbf L} )$ on spherical spinors?

Let's have the spherical spinors $\psi_{j, m, l = j \pm \frac{1}{2}}$, $$ Y_{j, m, l = j \pm \frac{1}{2}} = \frac{1}{\sqrt{2l + 1}}\begin{pmatrix} \pm \sqrt{l \pm m +\frac{1}{2}}Y_{l, m - \frac{1}{2}} ...
2
votes
1answer
135 views

Relation between Dirac spinor and its adjoint

I'm trying unsuccessfully to solve the following problem in Thomson's Modern Particle Physics: "Starting from $(\gamma^{\mu} p_{\mu} - m) u =0, $ show that the corresponding equation for the ...
5
votes
1answer
131 views

Sign in front of QFT kinetic terms

I'd like to know if the sign in front of a kinetic term in QFT important. For the scalar field we conventionally write (in the $ + --- $ metric), \begin{equation} {\cal L} _{ kin} = \frac{1}{2} ...
1
vote
0answers
47 views

From Dirac to Klein-Gordon in curved spacetime

Is there an easy/elegant way of showing that "squaring" the Dirac equation in curved spacetime yields the Klein-Gordon equation, just like it happens in Minkowski space? A brute force approach would ...
1
vote
0answers
51 views

Two pairs of projection operators of the Dirac equation

The Dirac equation may be interpreted as the action of projection operator $\frac{1 - \Delta}{2}\Psi = 0$, where $$ \Delta = \begin{pmatrix} 0 & \Delta_{b \dot {a}} \\ \Delta^{\dot {b}a} & 0 ...
3
votes
1answer
144 views

How to determine the orientation of the massive Dirac Hamiltonian?

In the calculation of the Chern number within a 2D lattice model, let's take the Haldane model for example, the Chern number$=\pm1$ has 2 contributions coming from 2 Dirac points described by ...
2
votes
0answers
106 views

Parity violating Dirac particle

We normally write down the Dirac Lagrangian as \begin{equation} {\cal L} _D = \bar{\psi} ( i \partial _\mu \gamma ^\mu - m ) \psi \end{equation} but are the Lagrangian's, \begin{equation} ...
3
votes
1answer
155 views

Adjoint of Gamma Matrices - Dirac

I just started to learn how to quantise Dirac field. Meanwhile, as we can write the Dirac equation in terms of gamma matrices : $$ (i\hbar\gamma^\mu\partial_\mu - m)\psi = 0 $$ where $\gamma_\mu$ ...
2
votes
1answer
162 views

Majorana equation in two forms

Let's have two forms of Majorana equation. First form (standart or spinor representations of gamma-matrices). $$ i\gamma^{\mu} \partial_{\mu}\Psi - m\Psi = 0, \quad \Psi = \Psi_{c} = \hat {C} \bar ...
7
votes
2answers
189 views

Why the lowest order of matrices in Dirac equation are 4x4 matrices?

Why the lowest order of matrices in Dirac equation (Relativistic Quantums) are 4x4 matrices (and can not be 2x2 matrices)? How to prove it?
3
votes
1answer
179 views

Components of the Weyl spinor field

In the Weyl basis we can separate the spinor field into 2 components: the right-chiral spinor and the left-chiral spinor. Each of these fields has again 2 components which are coupled. What is the ...
3
votes
1answer
112 views

Sign of mass of an anti-particle

When deriving the Lagrangian for Spin $\frac{1}{2}$ particles we are naturally led to using $\Psi$ and $\bar{\Psi}$. The Euler-Lagrange equations lead us to two wave equations: \begin{equation} ...
2
votes
1answer
204 views

Why must the Dirac equation multiplied by its complex conjugate give the KG equation?

This may be a simple question. I can show this is the case mathematically but cannot explain why it happens. It was only when asked why this happens when I realised I couldn't explain it ...
3
votes
1answer
104 views

Dirac adjoint of a matrix

The Dirac adjoint for Dirac spinors is defined as, $$ \bar{u} = u^{\dagger} \gamma^{0} \, . $$ However I have come across this, $$ \overline{\gamma^{\mu}} = \gamma^{\mu} \, , \tag{1} $$ (where ...
1
vote
2answers
156 views

Which of these two different forms of spin-orbit interaction is correct?

I am seeing the spin-orbit interaction in two different ways: $\lambda [\mathbf{p} \times \nabla V]\cdot \sigma$ $\lambda [\nabla V \times \mathbf{p}]\cdot \sigma$ I don't see how these two ...
0
votes
2answers
151 views

Which one is correct Dirac equation?

For a particle in potential $U(x)$ in 1D which equation is correct $$i\hbar\frac{\partial\psi}{\partial t}=(cp \sigma_x+mc^2\sigma_z+U(x))\psi$$ or $$i\hbar\frac{\partial\psi}{\partial t}=(cp ...
-1
votes
1answer
87 views

How is the current for the Dirac equation derived?

Why is it that the derivative of the current $j^\mu$ is the difference between the Dirac equation and its adjoint?
9
votes
1answer
194 views

Interpretation of Dirac equation states

In Pauli theory the components of two-component wavefunction were interpreted as probability amplitudes of finding the particle in particular spin state. This seems easy to understand. But when ...