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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24
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3answers
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 ...
23
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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 ...
19
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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 ...
16
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1answer
1k 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 ...
15
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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 ...
15
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4answers
562 views

Are fermions intrinsically non-local?

Background: When one studies quantum mechanics of more than one particle, one learns that all fundamental particles can be classified as either bosonic or fermionic. Fermions have a spinor structure, ...
15
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1answer
318 views

Explicit supersymmetry breaking fermion mass terms

I hope you can clear up my following confusions. In Girardello's and Grisaru's paper (Nuclear Physics B, 194, 65 (1982)) where they analysed the most general soft explicit supersymmetry breaking ...
14
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4answers
4k 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, ...
14
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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?
13
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4answers
875 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?
13
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0answers
233 views

Compactifying on a circle and the exchange of R and NS sectors

I've noticed a general phenomenon in compactifying on a circle where if you start with, say, an NS field, then the KK fields with an index along the circle will be in the R sector, and those without ...
12
votes
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 ...
12
votes
2answers
916 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
2answers
321 views

Modeling non-quantum objects (in finance, sociology etc) using fermionic fields?

Please provide (if any) applications of fermionic field theory in non-physics macro contexts (finance, sociology etc). I see only bosonic fields being used mostly. The only (minor) application of ...
11
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1answer
680 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 ...
11
votes
1answer
315 views

What causes Paulis Exclusion Principle?

Currently I'm taking an astrophysics class and has now come across electron degeneracy. As far as I understand, the reason why white dwarfs and such, does not collapse, is due to this, meaning that ...
9
votes
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 ...
9
votes
2answers
295 views

Are all fermions massless at high temperatures?

According to the standard model, the electroweak symmetry is unbroken at high temperatures, and therefore all gauge bosons are massless then. But since fermions are said to acquire mass by a different ...
9
votes
2answers
642 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 ...
9
votes
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 ...
9
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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 ...
8
votes
4answers
248 views

Is there some special case where a fermion can mediate a force?

Looking at the comments of this questions Does the gravitino contribute to the gravitational interaction? and even considering that the answers here in this other question Why are all force particles ...
8
votes
2answers
493 views

Fermions in the same state

I need some clarification of what is meant when someone says "fermions cannot occupy the same quantum state". Consider two bosons: $$\psi(\vec{r_1}, s_1, \vec{r_2}, s_2) = \frac{1}{\sqrt{2}} \left( \...
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 ...
8
votes
2answers
563 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
248 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 $\overline{\psi}=\psi^{*^{T}}\gamma^{...
8
votes
1answer
282 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
535 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 ...
8
votes
0answers
118 views

$\phi^4$ theory kinks as fermions?

In 1+1 dimensions there is duality between models of fermions and bosons called bosonization (or fermionization). For instance the sine-Gordon theory $$\mathcal{L}= \frac{1}{2}\partial_\mu \phi \...
8
votes
0answers
287 views

Lattice QCD and the 5th dimension

I was digging into the Nielsen-Ninomiya Theorem and doubler fermions, as well as solutions to these problems using Domain Wall Fermions and overlap lattice fermions, both of which make effective use ...
8
votes
0answers
192 views

Chiral fermions from torsion flux in M-theory?

Witten's 1981 paper "Search for a realistic Kaluza-Klein theory" is frequently cited for its observation that, in a compactification of d=11 supergravity on a manifold with SU(3) x SU(2) x U(1) ...
7
votes
3answers
317 views

Basic Spin or Double Cover Experiment

We know that Spin is described with $SU(2)$ and that $SU(2)$ is a double cover of the rotation group $SO(3)$. This suggests a simple thought experiment, to be described below. The question then is in ...
7
votes
1answer
1k views

Why is mass renormalization insufficient to explain electron mass?

In the Standard Model, I understand that the mass of the electron is assume to arise from two effects: A bare mass given by Yukawa interaction with the Higgs field, and A mass correction from mass ...
7
votes
4answers
253 views

Why don't we call the fermions in the standard model force carriers?

Maybe this is a chicken-and-egg problem, but couldn't we call all the bosons fundamental and treat the fermions as force carriers between them? EDIT: After all we never see the asymptotic states of ...
7
votes
2answers
362 views

Is ground energy of interacting fermions always higher that that of bosons?

Consider two systems, each made of $N$ particles. In both systems particles interact pairwise and the interaction is given by the same Hamiltonian for both systems. Any other constraints and/or ...
7
votes
1answer
356 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} \...
7
votes
1answer
326 views

What do the modes of fermion fields look like?

A boson field can be understood as a collection of stationary modes (e.g. plane waves of various polarizations), and for each mode there is a quantum harmonic oscillator. If the QHO for some mode is ...
7
votes
1answer
111 views

Is there a soft Goldstino theorem?

For ordinary spontaneously broken symmetries, you can demonstrate relations between S-matrix elements with a soft goldstone emission and another S-matrix element without the emission. If I break ...
7
votes
2answers
494 views

On the Axial Anomaly

I know that if we start with a massive theory, the chiral states $L$ and $R$ remain coupled to each other in the massless limit. Because a charged Dirac particle of a given helicity can make a ...
7
votes
0answers
652 views

Exact diagonalization by Bogoliubov transformation

I am developing a model of multiple gaps in a square lattice. I simplified the associated Hamiltonian to make it quadratic. In this approximation it is given by, $$ H = \begin{pmatrix} \xi_\mathbf{k} ...
6
votes
2answers
852 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 \...
6
votes
4answers
1k 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
1answer
273 views

What is the phenomenological logic behind Fermi liquid theory

I am a super beginner when it comes to Solid State Physics and when wanting to learn more on the subject, I end up reading on Landau's Fermi liquid theory that supposedly justifies the quasi-free ...
6
votes
2answers
613 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 \dot{\...
6
votes
1answer
140 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
729 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
378 views

Four Fermion Interactions

Given an action with a term like \begin{equation}S_{I}\sim \int\int (\psi^{\dagger}\psi)V(\psi^{\dagger}\psi)\end{equation} How do you evaluate this with a Fermionic path integral? I know the fields ...
6
votes
1answer
831 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 e^{-...
6
votes
1answer
380 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
46 views

Why does exchanging coordinates produce a phase of $\pm 1$ in an identical particle wavefunction?

Consider a system of two identical particles described by a wavefunction $\psi(x_1, x_2)$. There are two kinds of exchange operators one can define: Physical exchange $P$, i.e. swap the positions of ...