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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How to add a potential term to the Dirac Equation?

I've read that if you have a Hamiltonian for the Dirac Equation, you can add a potential term to it simply by adjusting the momentum operator so that $p^\mu \rightarrow p^\mu-A^\mu$, where $A^\mu$ is ...
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155 views

Explicit form of $\gamma^\mu \partial_\mu$ in the Dirac equation

I'm in an introductory particle physics class, and in performing manipulations on the Dirac equation, my instructor expands the $\gamma^\mu \partial_\mu$ term as: $$\gamma^\mu \partial_\mu = \gamma^0 ...
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1answer
3k views

Derivation of Dirac equation using the Lagrangian density for Dirac field

How can I derive the Dirac equation from the Lagrangian density for the Dirac field?
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4answers
600 views

Why is the Dirac equation not used for calculations?

From what I understand the Dirac equation is supposed to be an improvement on the Schrödinger equation in that it is consistent with relativity theory. Yet all methods I have encountered for doing ...
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3answers
156 views

Problem involving Dirac's equation

I'm stuck in an equation derivation of Ryder's QFT book. Starting with Dirac's equation: $$(i\gamma^\mu\partial_\mu-m)\psi=0$$ If I multiply by $i\gamma^\nu\partial_\nu$, I get: ...
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417 views

Relativistic genarization of Quantum Harmonic Oscillator

I am trying to find out relativistic description of a quantum harmonic oscillator. For a classical relativistic oscillator mass is a function of co-ordinates(http://arxiv.org/abs/1209.2876). ...
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117 views

Lagrangians for non-local equations of motion

Say I have a multicomponent field $X_a(x,t)$ such that I know it Fourier modes satisfy the following equation of motion, $(\delta_{ab} \partial_t + \Omega_{ab}(t))X_b(k,t) = e^t \int \frac{d^3p ...
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2k views

Dirac equation in curved space-time

I have seen the Dirac equation in curved space-time written as $$[i\bar{\gamma}^{\mu}\frac{\partial}{\partial x^{\mu}}-i\bar{\gamma}^{\mu}\Gamma_{\mu}-m]\psi=0 $$ This ...
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117 views

WKB expression for Dirac equation?

given the one dimensional Schroedinger equation $$ - \frac{\hbar ^{2}}{2m} \frac{d^{2}}{dx^{2}}\Psi(x)+ V(x) \Psi(x) =E_{n}\Psi (x) $$ the WKB method for the energies is $$ (n+1)2\pi \hbar ...
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227 views

Sign convention for basic Dirac equation

The dirac equation;$$(i\gamma^\mu\partial_{\mu} - m)\psi=0 $$ is just; $$(i\gamma^{0}\partial_{0} - i\gamma^{i}\partial_{i} - m)\psi=0 $$ in a (+,---) metric right?
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154 views

Sign Conventions for Dirac equation

Is it possible to have the Dirac sign convention, (-,+,+,+) and at the same time use the metric $$dt^2-dx^2-dy^2-dz^2$$ i.e have opposing Dirac and metric tensor conventions?
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739 views

Does Dirac's idea of filled negative energy states make sense?

Please bear with me a bit on this. I know my title is controversial, but it's serious and detailed question about the explanation Dirac attached to his amazing equations, not the equations themselves. ...
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Dimension of Dirac $\gamma$ matrices

While studying the Dirac equation, I came across this enigmatic passage on p. 551 in From Classical to Quantum Mechanics by G. Esposito, G. Marmo, G. Sudarshan regarding the $\gamma$ matrices: ...
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1answer
431 views

Dirac trace theorem

I am unable to prove exactly one trace identity that appears in the appendix of Peskin and Schroeder's QFT book. Can someone help me? The theorem [Appendix A.4 eqn (A.28)] says that the order of ...
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0answers
224 views

Matrix manipulation for Dirac matrices

From the Dirac equation in gamma matrices, we know that $$\gamma^i=\begin{pmatrix} 0 & \sigma^i \\ -\sigma^i & 0 \end{pmatrix}$$ and $$\gamma^0=\begin{pmatrix} I & 0 \\ 0 & -I ...
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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 ...
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2answers
390 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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631 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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457 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 ...
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407 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
274 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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95 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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1k 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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314 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 ?
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746 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
700 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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341 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
680 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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550 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
4k 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
322 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 ...
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2answers
241 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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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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653 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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288 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 ...
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1answer
503 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
885 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 = ...
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2answers
1k 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
937 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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312 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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142 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
163 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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742 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 ...
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2answers
468 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 ...
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487 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 ...
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1answer
529 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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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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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 ...
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2answers
235 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 ...