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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18
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2answers
758 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 ...
16
votes
3answers
655 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 ...
15
votes
1answer
584 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 ...
14
votes
1answer
219 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 ...
13
votes
2answers
1k 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 ...
12
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 ...
11
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?
10
votes
3answers
635 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?
10
votes
1answer
546 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 ...
10
votes
0answers
196 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 ...
8
votes
3answers
872 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
231 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
448 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 ...
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 ...
8
votes
4answers
978 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, ...
8
votes
1answer
86 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
250 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
2answers
432 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
179 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
266 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
2answers
265 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( ...
7
votes
1answer
422 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
220 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
2answers
304 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
276 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
446 views

Is there a reason why the spin of particles is integer or half integer instead of 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
311 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
223 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
567 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
162 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} ...
6
votes
1answer
131 views

Does the Fermi surface make sense for “Fermi liquids” with non-uniform charge density?

For a Fermi liquid, the Fermi momentum is determined by the singularity of the Green's function at $\omega=0$, i.e., $G(\omega=0,{\bf k}={\bf k}_F)\to\infty$. Suppose due to an external field or ...
6
votes
1answer
472 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
114 views

Little confusion with see-saw mechanism

Neutinos are either Dirac particles or Majorana particles but can’t be both at the same time. Then how can we write a general mass term as the sum of a Dirac mass term and a Majorana mass term? When ...
6
votes
0answers
350 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} ...
5
votes
2answers
447 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
863 views

Why are anticommutators needed in quantization of Dirac fields?

Why is the anticommutator actually needed in the canonical quantization of free Dirac field?
5
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 ...
5
votes
4answers
137 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
115 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
1answer
348 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
291 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
433 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
123 views

What do we mean when we say Bose condensation? And why can't fermions condense if they don't pair?

In common textbooks, we are told that bosons can condense in a single-particle state because of bose statistics and when the system undergoes a bose condensation, the bose field operator obtains a ...
5
votes
2answers
142 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
129 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
196 views

Derivative with respect to ${\not}{p}$

When studying renormalization of QED in standard textbooks, we typically encounter derivatives with respect to ${\not}{p}=p^\mu \gamma_\mu$, i.e., $\partial/\partial{\not}p$. As far as I understand, ...
5
votes
2answers
600 views

Propagator for Dirac equation in real space

I'm interested in the retarded propagator for a free massless Dirac fermion, i.e. solutions $ψ$ to the inhomogeneous PDE $$ (∂_t- \nabla·\vec σ) ψ(x,t) = f(x,t) $$ with boundary conditions $$\quad ...
5
votes
0answers
58 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 ...
5
votes
0answers
62 views

Is $\overline{\psi_{L}^{c}}\psi_{R}^{c}=\overline{\psi_{R}}\psi_{L}$ true for two different spin 1/2 fermions?

In the context of seesaw mechanism or Dirac and Majorana mass terms, one often see the following identity $$ \overline{\psi_{L}^{c}}\psi_{R}^{c}=\overline{\psi_{R}}\psi_{L}. $$ Here, I am using 4 ...
5
votes
0answers
126 views

Has hep-th/0312070 forgotten to fix $s_{0} = 1/2$ for the fermionic states in the second table on page 52?

Link to the original paper: The Gauge/String Correspondence Towards Realistic Gauge Theories (arXiv paper) On page 52 we see that, for a theory of Dp-branes placed at an orbifold (orbifold = ...