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 ...

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Charge conjugation in Dirac equation

According to Dirac equation we can write, \begin{equation} \left(i\gamma^\mu( \partial_\mu +ie A_\mu)- m \right)\psi(x,t) = 0 \end{equation} We seek an equation where $e\rightarrow -e $ and which ...
3
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2answers
359 views

Matrix operation in dirac matrices

If we define $\alpha_i$ and $\beta$ as Dirac matrices which satisfy all of the conditions of spin 1/2 particles , p defines the momentum of the particle, then how can we get the matrix form ? ...
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2answers
591 views

Geometrical interpretation of the Dirac equation

Is there an intuitive geometrical picture behind the Dirac equation, and the gamma matrices that it uses? I know the geometric algebra is a Clifford algebra. Can the properties of geometric algebra, ...
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433 views

How is the Dirac adjoint generalized?

I am wondering how one can generalize the Dirac adjoint to flat "spacetimes" of arbitrary dimension and signature. To be more specific, a standard situation would be to consider 4 dimensional ...
5
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1answer
375 views

Higher dimension operator in free Dirac Lagrangian

When discussing higher dimensional operators in a theory with fermions, why do I never see anyone ever talk about the dimension five operator $\partial_\mu\bar\psi\partial^\mu\psi$? How does the ...
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2answers
242 views

A step in the derivation of the magnetic moment of the electron in Zee's QFT book

In chapter III.6 of his Quantum Field Theory in a Nutshell, A. Zee sets out to derive the magnetic moment of an electron in quantum electrodynamics. He starts by replacing in the Dirac equation the ...
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0answers
92 views

Translate a two dimensional classical Dirac theory to a (1+1)-dim quantum theory

Suppose I have a two dimensional classical Dirac Hamiltonian with $\Psi=(\psi_1,\psi_2)^T$: $$ H=\int \mathrm{d}x \mathrm{d}y \Psi^\dagger(\sigma^x i\partial_x+\sigma^y i\partial_y+m\sigma^z)\Psi. $$ ...
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1answer
967 views

What is the relativistic particle in a box?

I know people try to solve Dirac equation in a box. Some claim it cannot be done. Some claim that they had found the solution, I have seen three and they are all different and bizarre. But my main ...
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2answers
158 views
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305 views

Energy spectrum of a Dirac electron

How do you explain easily "The spectrum of an electron in a repulsive potential " and hence "bound state of charge conjugation" in Dirac hole theory ?
5
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4answers
626 views

Dirac equation as Hamiltonian system

Let us consider Dirac equation $$(i\gamma^\mu\partial_\mu -m)\psi ~=~0$$ as a classical field equation. Is it possible to introduce Poisson bracket on the space of spinors $\psi$ in such a way that ...
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1answer
649 views

Charge conjugation in Dirac equation

I need to know the mathematical argument that how the relation is true $(C^{-1})^T\gamma ^ \mu C^T = - \gamma ^{\mu T} $ . Where $C$ is defined by $U=C \gamma^0$ ; $U$= non singular matrix , $T$= ...
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301 views

Dirac action and conventions

I have a (possibly) fundamental question, which is driving me crazy. Notation When considering the Dirac action (say reading Peskin's book), one have $\int ...
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1answer
571 views

What happens to the Lagrangian of the Dirac theory under charge conjugation?

Consider a charge conjugation operator which acts on the Dirac field($\psi$) as $$\psi_{C} \equiv \mathcal{C}\psi\mathcal{C}^{-1} = C\gamma_{0}^{T}\psi^{*}$$ Just as we can operate the parity operator ...
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1answer
504 views

Matrix order in Dirac equations

The trace of matrix is always sum of its eigen values , which can be seen if $\hat{U}$ transforms the matrix $\alpha_i$ into it's diagonal form . $$ \begin{pmatrix} A_1 & 0 & \cdots & 0 ...
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4answers
3k views

What is the difference between a spinor and a vector or a tensor?

Why do we call a 1/2 spin particle satisfying the Dirac equation a spinor, and not a vector or a tensor?
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1answer
282 views

Negative probability and spin-0 scalar field in Klein-Gordon equation

Klein-Gordon equation in quantum field theory is known to suffer from the possibility of negative probability. So, the question is, despite this, Klein-Gordon describes spin-zero field. So, how can ...
2
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2answers
223 views

numerical formulation of Dirac equation plus electromagnetic field

I have the following equations describing the electron field in a (classic) electromagnetic field: $$ c\left(\alpha _i\right.{\cdot (P - q(A + A_b) + \beta mc) \psi = E \psi } $$ where $A_b$ is ...
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4answers
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Why would Klein-Gordon describe spin-0 scalar field while Dirac describe spin-1/2?

The derivation of both Klein-Gordon equation and Dirac equation is due the need of quantum mechanics (or to say more correctly, quantum field theory) to adhere to special relativity. However, excpet ...
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1answer
599 views

Solution to Klein-Gordon equation always valid?

We know that there is a relativistic version of Schrodinger equation called Klein-Gordon equation. However, it has some problems and due to these problems, there is Dirac equation that handles these ...
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1answer
275 views

Complete set and Klein-Gordon equation

In http://www.physics.ucdavis.edu/~cheng/teaching/230A-s07/rqm2_rev.pdf, it says that when there is some external potential, the Klein-Gordon equation is altered, and it says the following: The ...
2
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1answer
461 views

Explanation of equation that shows a failed approach to relativize Schrodinger equation

I'm reading the Wikipedia page for the Dirac equation: $\rho=\phi^*\phi\,$ ...... $J = -\frac{i\hbar}{2m}(\phi^*\nabla\phi - \phi\nabla\phi^*)$ with the conservation of probability ...
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1answer
758 views

How did one get the defining equation of probability current and conservation of probability current and density?

I'm reading the Wikipedia page for the Dirac equation: $$\rho=\phi^*\phi$$ and this density is convected according to the probability current vector $$J = ...
2
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2answers
980 views

How to obtain Dirac equation from Schrodinger equation and special relativity?

I'm reading the Wikipedia page for the Dirac equation: The Dirac equation is superficially similar to the Schrödinger equation for a free massive particle: A) ...
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1answer
770 views

How to construct the charge conjugation matrix for any given dimension?

Generally, Gamma matrices could be constructed based on the Clifford algebra. \begin{equation} \gamma^{i}\gamma^{j}+\gamma^{j}\gamma^{i}=2h^{ij}, \end{equation} My question is how to generally ...
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2answers
294 views

momentum four vector and dirac matrices

$$c\left(\alpha _i\right.{\cdot P + \beta mc) \psi = E \psi } $$ From the above dirac equation it can be shown for zero momenta that spin and antimatter are associated with $\beta $. On the other ...
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2answers
139 views

Showing that electron and positrons have the same absolute charge

In Zee's quantum field theory in a nutshell, 2nd edition, pg 551 he has the charge of a Dirac field written as $Q=\int {d^3p \over (2\pi)^3(E_p/m)} \sum_s ...
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1answer
160 views

Charge and the Dirac field

In Zee's quantum field theory in a nutshell, 2nd edition, pg 550 he has $Q=\int {d^3p \over (2\pi)^3(E_p/m)} \sum_s \{b^\dagger(p,s)b(p,s)-d^\dagger(p,s)d(p,s)\}$ showing clearly that $b$ ...
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1answer
704 views

Exact energies of spherical harmonic oscillator in Dirac equation

The potential is given by: $$ V(r) = {1\over 2} \omega^2 r^2 $$ and we are solving the radial Dirac equation (in atomic units): $$ c{d P(r)\over d r} + c {\kappa\over r} P(r) + Q(r) (V(r)-2mc^2) = E ...
5
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2answers
443 views

Relation for Dirac-spinors of different helicities

Assume that we have massless spin-1/2 particles. The Dirac-spinor is the solution of the Dirac equation: $$ p^\mu \gamma_\mu u_\pm(p) = 0, \quad p^2 = 0$$ The subscripts $\pm$ denote two different ...
8
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2answers
462 views

Dirac equation as canonical quantization?

First of all, I'm not a physicist, I'm mathematics phd student, but I have one elementary physical question and was not able to find answer in standard textbooks. Motivation is quite simple: let me ...
2
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1answer
462 views

Magnetic moment derivation from Dirac equation

I am reading a text book where they show the electron has spin 1/2 using Dirac's equation. At one point in the derivation they define $\pi=P-qA/c$ where $P$ is the momentum operator and A is the ...
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2answers
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Is Zitterbewegung an artefact of single-particle theory?

I have seen a number of articles on Zitterbewegung claiming searches for it such as this one: http://arxiv.org/abs/0810.2186. Others such as the so-called ZBW interpretation by Hestenes seemingly ...
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2answers
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What is negative about negative energy states in the Dirac equation?

This question is a follow up to What was missing in Dirac's argument to come up with the modern interpretation of the positron? There still is some confusion in my mind about the so-called ...
2
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2answers
212 views

Finding wave-fuctions of a Dirac particle for given 4-momentum and spin 4-vector

I've been reading through various materials on relativistic quantum mechanics, but I find the lack of simple examples disturbing. I'm acquainted with the general form the solutions to the Dirac ...
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0answers
88 views

Is it necessary to use all solutions when calculating an expectation value in a spin state?

I'm given an spinor $\Psi$ which is solution of the Free Dirac equation, such that is an eigenfunction of $\hat{\vec{p}}$ and has positive energy. Then I'm asked to calculate the expectation value of ...
3
votes
2answers
613 views

Spin matrices in Dirac equation

Why in every textbook when deriving Dirac's equation the smallest possible matrices ($2 \times 2$) are used? I wonder why one couldn't use spin 1 matrices ($3 \times 3$) and get relativistic equation ...
4
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3answers
378 views

How does one interpret the Dirac equation with a self-field potential?

EVERY QFT text I've ever examined states that if there is an external vector potential, $A_\mu$, then one writes the Dirac eq.(or Klein-Gordon eq.) using a covariant derivative to include this U(1) ...
11
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3answers
868 views

What was missing in Dirac's argument to come up with the modern interpretation of the positron?

When Dirac found his equation for the electron $(-i\gamma^\mu\partial_\mu+m)\psi=0$ he famously discovered that it had negative energy solutions. In order to solve the problem of the stability of the ...
5
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4answers
2k views

Where is spin in the Schroedinger equation of an electron in the hydrogen atom?

In my current quantum mechanics, course, we have derived in full (I believe?) the wave equations for the time-independent stationary states of the hydrogen atom. We are told that the Pauli Exclusion ...
2
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1answer
615 views

What is the exponential form gamma matrix for a general rotation and boost?

It would be nice to have a cute method that uses Lorentz transformations of basis vectors by exponential transformation using gamma matrices. To avoid confusion, let's assume -+++ signature. Given ...
2
votes
1answer
625 views

Dirac equation algebraic derivation, a gauge symmetry

Suppose i try to derive the most generic Dirac-like equation (that is, as factors of first-order expression in momenta and mass operator where we allow coefficients that are associative, don't ...
7
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4answers
1k views

Why are four-vectors needed in the Dirac equation, when there are 4 linearly independent 2D matrices?

I was taught that for the Dirac-equation to "work", you need matrices of the following form: $Tr(\alpha^i) = 0$. Eigenvalues +1 or -1 2 previous points together: equal number of negative and ...
7
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4answers
902 views

Dirac equation on general geometries?

I have a numerical method for computing solutions to the Dirac equation for a spin 1/2 particle constrained to an arbitrary surface and am interested in finding applications where the configuration ...
6
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7answers
961 views

Evolution in the interpretation of the Dirac equation

As I understand, Dirac equation was first interpreted as a wave equation following the ideas of non relativistic quantum mechanics, but this lead to different problems. The equation was then ...