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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2
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0answers
76 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
251 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 ...
28
votes
5answers
1k 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
222 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
136 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
233 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
165 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
25 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
432 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
408 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} = ...
1
vote
1answer
157 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?
2
votes
0answers
45 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
148 views

How do I prove the equivalence of chirality and helicity operators acting on a massless Dirac spinor?

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
124 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
93 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
157 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
3k 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
461 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
57 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
618 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
320 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
170 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
141 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
275 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
197 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
635 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
730 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
583 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?
4
votes
1answer
605 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
155 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} ...
3
votes
1answer
583 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
406 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
176 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
177 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
656 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?
11
votes
1answer
370 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
268 views

Wavefunction of an electron

Electron is a spin $\frac{1}{2}$ particle, so needs 2-component wave function but the Dirac theory of electron is based on 4-component wave function, are all components of it independent or only two ...
6
votes
2answers
947 views

Is the Dirac Lagrangian Hermitian?

I'm wondering of the Dirac Lagrangian density $$\mathcal{L} =\overline{\psi}(-i\gamma^\mu \partial_\mu +m)\psi $$ is an hermitian operator, since upon complex conjugating one gets ...
1
vote
0answers
354 views

Step in derivation of solution to Dirac equation for hydrogen

My text, when solving hydrogen in the Dirac equation, makes the claim $\varphi_{j m_j}^{(+)} = \frac{\mathbf{\sigma} \cdot \mathbf{x}}{r} \varphi_{j m_j}^{(-)}$ where $\varphi_{j m_j}^{(\pm)}$ are ...
14
votes
2answers
2k views

How to prove $(\gamma^\mu)^\dagger=\gamma^0\gamma^\mu\gamma^0$?

Studying the basics of spin-$\frac{1}{2}$ QFT, I encountered the gamma matrices. One important property is $(\gamma^5)^\dagger=\gamma^5$, the hermicity of $\gamma^5$. After some searching, I stumbled ...
5
votes
1answer
736 views

Derivation of a gamma matrices identity

While studying Srednicki's book on quantum field theory, I encountered a particular identity that is of interest to me (equation 36.40): $$\mathcal{C}^{-1}\gamma^\mu\mathcal{C}=-(\gamma^\mu)^T$$ where ...
6
votes
1answer
440 views

Dirac Lagrangian density in curved spacetime

I'm trying to derive this form of the Dirac Lagrangian density in curved space-time: $$ \mathcal{L}~=~\det\left(e\right)\bar{\Psi}\Bigg ...
2
votes
0answers
143 views

Calculating the dispersion relation of dirac lagrangian in curved spacetime

I am trying to calculate the dispersion relation for a fermion in a gravitational field. So far, I have computed the equation of motion, but I am stuck trying to figure out a determinant I just can't ...
4
votes
1answer
369 views

Derivation of the quadratic form of the Dirac equation

I am asked to derive the quadratic form of the Dirac equation in an electromagnetic field, $\left[\left(i\hbar \partial - \frac{e}{c}A\right)^2 - \frac{\hbar e}{2c} \sigma^{\mu\nu} F_{\mu\nu} - ...
2
votes
0answers
135 views

Majorana equation and non-invariance of spinor representation under discrete Lorentz transformations

Here I asked about getting an equation for two-component spinor as the alternative for Dirac equation. It was found that it is called Majorana equation. It may be easily derived by using historical ...
3
votes
1answer
464 views

Unitary Lorentz transformation on quantized Dirac spinor

I am stuck again on page 59 of Peskin and Schroeder. In particular, I do not know how they get equation (3.110). Let me first give some background in the way that I understand it (but I might be ...
8
votes
1answer
572 views

Question about Majorana fermions

I have a few questions about Majorana fermions. What is Majorana mass? Does it have a different value compared to the mass in the Dirac equation for an arbitrary fermion? How exactly do they differ? ...
1
vote
1answer
156 views

Equation for relativistic electron and two-component spinor

Recently I heard that there is some "alternate" equation for the Dirac one. It can be introduced if we refuse some properties of the theory describes the electron, which Dirac used in his original ...
1
vote
2answers
170 views

Fermion field structure in non-abelian gauge theories

I am trying to understand the structure of the fermions in non-abelian gauge theories. Disclaimer: my question might be very trivial (I suspect the answer could simply be "a change of basis"), but I ...
2
votes
1answer
335 views

Massless spin 1/2 particle

Could a massless spin 1/2 particle, or more generally massless half-integer spin particles exist? Does it make sense to say that they could be described for example by the Dirac equation by forgetting ...