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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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?
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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 ...
6
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4answers
969 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
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2answers
589 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 ...
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2answers
746 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 ...
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4answers
3k 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, ...
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2answers
1k 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 ...
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1answer
933 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 ...
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1answer
318 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} ...
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1answer
1k views

Fermion mass Higgs mechanism

How does a fermion, like an electron, get its mass through the Higgs-mechanism? Can someone explain me this with formulas (Lagrangian)? I know that the Yukawa interaction has something to do with ...
4
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3answers
2k 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 ...
3
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1answer
177 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, ...
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1answer
762 views

Matrix representation for fermionic annihilation operator

My guess it should look something like this: $ c_\sigma = ...
18
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5answers
3k 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 ...
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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 ...
8
votes
1answer
278 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 ...
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2answers
615 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 ...
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2answers
307 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?
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2answers
540 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 ...
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2answers
127 views

Why $\delta F = B\epsilon$ and not $F=B \epsilon$ in supersymmetry?

We can express supersymmetric transformations as $$\delta F = B\epsilon, \tag{1} $$ $$\delta B = F\bar{\epsilon},\tag{2}$$ where $B$ and $F$ denote the bosons and fermions, respectively, in the theory ...
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3answers
2k views

Is there a reason why the spin of particles is integer or half integer instead of, say, even and odd?

It seems to me that we could change all the current spin values of particles by multiplying them by two. Then we could describe Bosons as even spin particles and Fermions as odd spin particles. Is ...
5
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2answers
716 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 ...
3
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1answer
182 views

Why must fermions be antisymmetric? [closed]

I have read that fermions cannot exist in the same state simultaneously. I understand why indistinguishable particles with an antisymmetric superposition of states can't exist in the same state ...
3
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2answers
269 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 ...
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1answer
442 views

Physical implications behind the exchange antisymmetry condition of fermions

Explain the Physical implications behind the exchange antisymmetry condition of fermions. This condition forms the basis of the pauli principle but I can't find/understand what happens physically that ...
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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 ...
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3answers
2k 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
3k 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
796 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 ...
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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?
12
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2answers
851 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 ...
11
votes
1answer
608 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
530 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
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0answers
478 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
736 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
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4answers
850 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
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2answers
2k 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 ...
7
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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 ...
6
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1answer
371 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
350 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
458 views

The correspondence between Grassmann number and 4-spinor

In canonical quantization, we view the Dirac field $\psi$ as a $4\times1$ matrix of complex number. While in path integral quantization, we view the Dirac field $\psi$ as a Grassmann number. For two ...
4
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6answers
627 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
129 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 ...
0
votes
2answers
123 views

Massless bosons but not massless fermions?

I noticed some article on massless Weyl fermions and it got me thinking. I'm wondering if there is any explanation for why bosons (specifically gauge bosons) can be massless (photon and gluon) but we ...
6
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1answer
114 views

Nature of the quantum degeneracy pressure

It is commonly known that it is the electron degeneracy pressure that prevents the collapse of a white dwarf into a neutron star, and it is not the electromagnetic force. However, it is also widely ...
6
votes
1answer
692 views

Mechanisms of mass generation for Dirac neutrinos

If neutrinos are Majorana particles, one way of explaining their small masses is the seesaw mechanism. Now say I'd like my neutrinos to be Dirac, for symmetry to the quark sector. What mechanisms ...
4
votes
0answers
69 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
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1answer
338 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
299 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
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0answers
107 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 ...