Fermions are particles with an intrinsic angular momentum (i.e. spin) equal to a "half integer" number of fundamental units: $\frac{(2n+1)}{2} \hbar$ for integer $n$. Fermions are required to be in a quantum state that is globally anti-symmetric, which leads to the Pauli Exclusion Principle barring ...

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8
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3answers
1k views

Grassmann paradox weirdness

I'm running into an annoying problem I am unable to resolve, although a friend has given me some guidance as to how the resolution might come about. Hopefully someone on here knows the answer. It is ...
5
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2answers
1k views

Why are anticommutators needed in quantization of Dirac fields?

Why is the anticommutator actually needed in the canonical quantization of free Dirac field?
6
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4answers
780 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
484 views

From Lagrangian to Hamiltonian in Fermionic Model

While going from a given Lagrangian to Hamiltonian for a fermionic field, we use the following formula. $$ H = \Sigma_{i} \pi_i \dot{\phi_i} - L$$ where $\pi_i = \dfrac{\partial L}{\partial ...
11
votes
4answers
2k views

Huge confusion with Fermions and Bosons and how they relate to total spin of atom

I am supremely confused when something has spin or when it does not. For example, atomic Hydrogen has 4 fermions, three quarks to make a proton, and 1 electron. There is an even number of fermions, ...
15
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1answer
763 views

A reading list to build up to the spin statistics theorem

Wikipedia's article on the spin-statistics theorem sums it up thusly: In quantum mechanics, the spin-statistics theorem relates the spin of a particle to the particle statistics it obeys. The spin ...
6
votes
2answers
789 views

Why is the Fermi surface stable?

As a condensed matter physicist, I take it for granted that a Fermi surface is stable. But it is stable with respect to what? For instance, Cooper pairing is known as an instability of the Fermi ...
3
votes
1answer
153 views

Wrong sign anticommutation relation for the Dirac field?

Consider the Dirac Lagrangian $$\mathcal{L}=\psi ^{\dagger }\gamma ^{0}\left( \mathrm{i}\gamma ^{\rho }\partial _{\rho }-m\right) \psi .$$ The conjugate momenta to $\psi ^{a}$ are defined, as usual, ...
16
votes
5answers
2k views

“Velvet way” to Grassmann numbers

In my opinion, the Grassmann number "apparatus" is one of the least intuitive things in modern physics. I remember that it took a lot of effort when I was studying this. The problem was not in the ...
18
votes
2answers
1k views

Can bosons that are composed of several fermions occupy the same state?

It is generally assumed that there is no limit on how many bosons are allowed to occupy the same quantum mechanical state. However, almost every boson encountered in every-day physics is not a ...
7
votes
1answer
219 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} ...
5
votes
2answers
370 views

Stress-energy tensor for a fermionic Lagrangian in curved spacetime - which one appears in the EFE?

So, suppose I have an action of the type: $$ S =\int \text{d}^4 x\sqrt{-g}( \frac{i}{2} (\bar{\psi} \gamma_\mu \nabla^\mu\psi - \nabla^\mu\bar{\psi} \gamma_\mu \psi) +\alpha \bar{\psi} \gamma_\mu ...
8
votes
1answer
267 views

Is conservation of statistics logically independent of spin?

If the number of fermions is $n$, we expect the quantity $(-1)^n$ to be conserved, i.e., $n$ never changes between even and odd. This is known as conservation of statistics. In the normal context of ...
4
votes
3answers
1k views

Fermionic anti-commutation relations

For Pauli's exclusion principle to be followed by fermions, we need these anti-commutators $$[a_{\lambda},a_{\lambda}]_+=0 $$ and $$[a_{\lambda}^{\dagger},a_{\lambda}^{\dagger}]_+=0 $$ Then ...
9
votes
2answers
526 views

Some Majorana fermion identities

I have been struggling with these Majorana fermion identities for quite sometime now. I would be grateful if someone can help me with them. Let $\lambda$,$\theta$ and $\psi$ be $4$-component ...
2
votes
2answers
212 views

CPT invariance of Dirac equation

We know that Dirac equation is \begin{equation} ( i \partial _\mu \gamma ^\mu - m ) \psi ~=~0. \end{equation} How can we show that Dirac equation is invariant under CPT transformation?
3
votes
2answers
187 views

Non-relativistic QFT Lagrangian for fermions

Take the ordinary Hamiltonian from non-relativistic quantum mechanics expressed in terms of the fermi fields $\psi(\mathbf{x})$ and $\psi^\dagger(\mathbf{x})$ (as derived, for example, by A. L. Fetter ...
2
votes
1answer
561 views

Matrix representation for fermionic annihilation operator

My guess it should look something like this: $ c_\sigma = ...
14
votes
3answers
2k views

What is the fundamental reason of the fermion doubling?

Recall that the fermion doubling is the problem in taking the $a \to 0$ limit of a naively discretized fermionic theory (defined on a lattice with lattice spacing $a$). After such a limit one finds ...
22
votes
3answers
1k views

Does black hole formation contradict the Pauli exclusion principle?

A star's collapse can be halted by the degeneracy pressure of electrons or neutrons due to the Pauli exclusion principle. In extreme relativistic conditions, a star will continue to collapse ...
8
votes
1answer
2k views

How does one prove Fierz identities?

Fierz identities are discussed in the wikipedia article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fierz_identity but the article doesn't give any derivation. The article implies that they arise from the blade ...
6
votes
1answer
686 views

Faddeev-Popov ghost propagator in canonical quantization

Obtaining the propagator for the Faddeev-Popov (FP) ghosts from the path integral language is straightforward. It is simply $$\langle T(c(x) \bar c(y))\rangle~=~\int\frac{d^4 p}{(2\pi)^4}\frac{i ...
12
votes
3answers
1k views

What are the mathematical problems in introducing Spin 3/2 fermions?

Can the physics complications of introducing spin 3/2 Rarita-Schwinger matter be put in geometric (or other) terms readily accessible to a mathematician?
9
votes
1answer
499 views

What is the value of a quantum field?

As far as I'm aware (please correct me if I'm wrong) quantum fields are simply operators, constructed from a linear combination of creation and annihilation operators, which are defined at every point ...
8
votes
1answer
494 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 ...
5
votes
0answers
414 views

Time Reversal, CPT, spin-statistics, mass gap and chirality of Euclidean fermion field theory

In Minkowski space even-dim (say $d+1$ D) spacetime dimension, we can write fermion-field theory as the Lagrangian: $$ \mathcal{L}=\bar{\psi} (i\not \partial-m)\psi+ \bar{\psi} \phi_1 \psi+\bar{\psi} ...
4
votes
2answers
605 views

Spin-statistics theorem proof details

Recently I have read one book where there was some incomprehensible proof of the Pauli's spin-statistics theorem. I want to ask about a few details of the proof. First, the author derives ...
13
votes
4answers
717 views

Why do leptons and quarks mix?

Is the fact that weak eigenstates are not mass eigenstates completely arbitrary? Or is there a deeper reason for the existence of the PMNS and CKM matrices?
8
votes
2answers
1k views

How do Dirac fermions arise in graphene, and, what significance (if any) does this have for high-energy physics?

Graphene has a honeycomb lattice (in the absence of defects and impurities). By considering the low-energy limit of the half-filled Hubbard model used to model the strongly interacting electron gas we ...
6
votes
1answer
536 views

Time reversal symmetry and T^2 = -1

I'm a mathematician interested in abstract QFT. I'm trying to undersand why, under certain (all?) circumstances, we must have $T^2 = -1$ rather than $T^2 = +1$, where $T$ is the time reversal ...
5
votes
1answer
334 views

Grassmann Variables Representation?

It might be a silly question, but I was never mathematically introduced to the topic. Is there a representation for Grassmann Variables using real field. For example, gamma matrices have a ...
2
votes
1answer
95 views

Supersymmetry transformations as coordinate transformations

Usually, a supersymmetry transformation is carried out on bosonic and fermionic fields which are functions of the coordinates (or on a superfield which is a function of real and fermionic ...
2
votes
1answer
869 views

Fermion mass Higgs mechanism

How get fermion like a electron a mass through the higgs-mechanism? Can someone explain me this with formulas (Lagrangian)? I know that the Yukawa interaction has something to do with, is that right? ...
7
votes
2answers
420 views

Is there record of a bosonic Stern-Gerlach measurement?

I cannot seem to find any peer-reviewed (or other) reference to an integer-spin Stern-Gerlach experiment. It shouldn't be too hard to do: just find you friendly neighbourhood Deuterium ion and shoot ...
4
votes
0answers
50 views

Correct way to define parity of two parafermions

I am checking the literature on parafermions and it seems that people define the parity of two parafermions to be $\gamma_{a}^{-1}\gamma_{b}$. Is this definition always valid? How does one come up ...
4
votes
1answer
285 views

Number of Grassmann generators for Dirac field?

How many Grassmann generators are sufficient for the description of a Dirac spinor in 4 dimensions? i.e. The Dirac field is a map to $\Lambda_N$, the space of supernumbers with $N$ real Grassmann ...
4
votes
2answers
295 views

Combinatorial sum in a problem with a Fermi gas

I'm solving a problem involving a Fermi gas. There is a specific sum I cannot figure my way around. A set of equidistant levels, indexed by $m=0,1,2 \ldots$, is populated by spinless fermions with ...
3
votes
1answer
228 views

How can a left-handed fermion field create a right-handed antifermion?

My question - which is likely stupid or appears due to some confusion - stems from the following considerations: when quantizing canonically we are told (see any book on QFT) that a Dirac fermion ...
3
votes
0answers
101 views

Were fermions ever massless?

In a discussion of the Standard model and Higgs mechanism it was claimed that accordingly: "During an early phase of the cosmos all fermions were massless." I wonder whether this claim can be ...
3
votes
6answers
489 views

Fermion vs. Bosons and particle vs. wave: is there a link?

I'm puzzled since several years on this basic aspect of quantum mechanics. Quantum theory is supposed to describe particle-wave symmetry of our world. It also describes our universe in term of bosons ...
1
vote
1answer
63 views

Do the Grassmann coordinates in the superfield formalism have any physical meaning?

In the superfield formalism we consider fields in a space who has four so called bosonic coordinates $x^{\nu}$ and four so called fermionic coordinates ...
5
votes
1answer
127 views

Are composite bosons always bosonic (e.g. the pion-cloud surrounding the nuclei)?

The $\pi$-meson is a boson, but consists of quark-antiquark (fermions). It seems to me that at some energy level (equivalently distance) the inner structure (fermionic nature of the quarks) of the ...
5
votes
2answers
539 views

Imposing anti-commutation relations on fermionic quasi-particles

In many theories of CMT, we assume the nature of quasi-particles (without giving proper justifications). For example, we assume nature of quasi-particles to be fermionic in case of a interacting ...
4
votes
1answer
741 views

Atoms: boson or fermion? [duplicate]

The spin of fundamental particles determines if they are bosons or fermions. The atoms also have bosonic or fermionic behavior, for example $\require{mhchem}\ce{^4He}$ has bosonic and $\ce{^3He}$ has ...
4
votes
2answers
499 views

Has BCS Cooper pair condensate been observed in experiment?

Feshbach resonance in s-wave scattering states a BCS Cooper pair condensation at B-field just above the resonance where the scattering length a <0. Just wondering if the condensation has been ...
4
votes
1answer
486 views

What are Grassmann (even/odd) numbers used in superalgebras?

Are Grassmann numbers a concept of graded Lie algebras or is something specific to superalgebras? What are they (i.e: how are they defined, important properties, etc.)? Is there a reasonable ...
3
votes
1answer
333 views

Minus Sign in Feynman Diagram

I've been reading these notes and I can't figure out the why on P.120, it is said that The fermionic statistics mean that the first diagram has an extra minus sign relative to the ψψ scattering ...
2
votes
2answers
346 views

Why Pauli exclusion instead of electrons canceling out?

To quote Wikipedia, The Pauli exclusion principle is the quantum mechanical principle that no two identical fermions (particles with half-integer spin) may occupy the same quantum state ...
1
vote
1answer
558 views

A few simple questions about Grassmann numbers: commutation relations and derivatives

I'm trying to learn about Grassmann numbers from the book "Condensed Matter Field Theory" by Altland and Simons, but I am currently encountering some difficulties. I have several smaller questions ...
1
vote
1answer
166 views

Anticommutation relations and bispinor field

In a case of free Dirac field we have $$ \hat {H} = \int \epsilon_{\mathbf p}\left( \hat {a}^{+}_{s}(\mathbf p )\hat {a}_{s}(\mathbf p ) - \hat {b}_{s}(\mathbf p )\hat {b}_{s}^{+}(\mathbf p ) ...