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14
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4answers
6k 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?
16
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2answers
1k views

Introduction to spinors in physics, and their relation to representations

First, I shall say that I am familiar with the intuitive idea that a spinor is like a vector (or tensor) that only transforms "up to a sign" when acted on by the rotation group. I have even rotated a ...
5
votes
1answer
646 views

What is a spinor? [closed]

In a youtube video, sir Michael Atiyah mentioned that even after working during the most of his life on spinors, he doesn't know what a spinor is. Now surely that was part of his humorous introduction ...
16
votes
2answers
1k views

What's the relationship between $SL(2,\mathbb{C})$, $SU(2)\times SU(2)$ and $SO(1,3)$?

I'm a beginner of QFT. Ref. 1 states that [...] The Lorentz group $SO(1,3)$ is then essentially $SU(2)\times SU(2)$. But how is it possible, because $SU(2)\times SU(2)$ is a compact Lie group ...
-2
votes
3answers
629 views

Why do electrons and positrons exhibit opposite helical motion in a magnetic field?

When you throw an electron through a solenoid, it moves helically around the field lines, as per this schoolphysics illustration: © Keith Gibbs 2013 Then if we were to throw a positron through the ...
7
votes
3answers
601 views

Is there any relationship between gauge field and spin connection?

For a spinor on curved spacetime, $D_\mu$ is the covariant derivative for fermionic fields is $$D_\mu = \partial_\mu - \frac{i}{4} \omega_{\mu}^{ab} \sigma_{ab}$$ where $\omega_\mu^{ab}$ are the spin ...
6
votes
2answers
773 views

Number of Components of a Spinor

I'm trying to develop my understanding of spinors. In quantum field theory I've learned that a spinor is a 4 component complex vector field on Minkowski space which transforms under the chiral ...
4
votes
2answers
243 views

A whole lot of doubts on Lorentz representation

Can someone tell me in layman's language how the $(1/2,1/2)$ represents a vector field and $(0,1/2)$ or $(1/2,0)$ represents spinors and $(0,0)$ represents scalar field. Please don't be pedantic on ...
9
votes
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 ...
15
votes
1answer
2k views

What're the relations and differences between slave-fermion and slave-boson formalism?

As we know, in condensed matter theory, especially in dealing with strongly correlated systems, physicists have constructed various "peculiar" slave-fermion and slave-boson theories. For example, For ...
12
votes
1answer
792 views

Could this model have soliton solutions?

We consider a theory described by the Lagrangian, $$\mathcal{L}=i\bar{\Psi}\gamma^\mu\partial_\mu\Psi-m\bar{\Psi}\Psi+\frac{1}{2}g(\bar{\Psi}\Psi)^2$$ The corresponding field equations are, $$(i\...
8
votes
1answer
331 views

2 Component Spinor Formalism

In Chapters 34-36 of the Srednicki QFT book, 2 component spinors and their combinations in Dirac and Majorana spinors are carefully constructed. Specifically, in equations 36.14 and 36.15 the ...
6
votes
1answer
544 views

Does the concept of both helicity and chirality make sense for a massive Dirac spinor?

Does the concept of both helicity and chirality make sense for a massive Dirac spinor? A massive electron in the chiral basis is written as a column made up of $\psi_L$ and $\psi_R$. What is the ...
15
votes
2answers
3k views

Dirac, Weyl and Majorana Spinors

To get to the point - what's the defining differences between them? Alas, my current understanding of a spinor is limited. All I know is that they are used to describe fermions (?), but I'm not sure ...
4
votes
1answer
170 views

Two conflicting definitions of chirality

Consider a Majorana fermion embedded in a Dirac spinor, $$\psi = \begin{pmatrix} \psi_L \\ i \sigma_2 \psi_L^* \end{pmatrix}.$$ The Majorana fermion $\psi_L$ is left-chiral, i.e. it transforms in the ...
3
votes
1answer
154 views

How does the Lorentz group act on a 4-vector in the spinor-helicity formalism $p_{\alpha\dot{\alpha}}$?

Given a 4-vector $p^\mu$ the Lorentz group acts on it in the vector representation: $$ \tag{1} p^\mu \longrightarrow (J_V[\Lambda])^\mu_{\,\,\nu} p^\nu\equiv \Lambda^\mu_{\,\,\nu} p^\nu. $$ However, I ...
2
votes
1answer
156 views

What is the role of the spacetime algebra?

For Minkowski space $M^4=\mathbb{R}^{1,3}$ the Clifford algebra $Cl_{1,3}$ (Dirac algebra) with $\{\gamma^\mu, \gamma^\nu \}=2 g^{\mu \nu}$ is sometimes called "spacetime algebra". What is its ...
2
votes
0answers
118 views

Transformation law for spinor functions multiplication

Let's have Dirac spinor $\Psi (x)$, which formally corresponds to $$ \left( 0, \frac{1}{2} \right) \oplus \left( \frac{1}{2}, 0 \right) $$ representation of the Lorentz group. What representation is ...
3
votes
1answer
278 views

The relationship between spin and spinor curvature

The identity, $$ -\gamma^b{\mathcal{R}}_{ab} = {\mathcal{R}}_{ab}\gamma^b = \frac{1}{2}\gamma^b R_{ab}$$ is presented in the answer to the question Dirac Equation in General Relativity. How does ...
3
votes
0answers
80 views

Substitution $\partial_\mu \to D_\mu \equiv \partial_\mu + ieA_\mu$ allows the introduction of electromagnetic interactions [closed]

I want to show that the substitution $\partial_u \to D_\mu \equiv \partial_\mu + ieA_\mu$, or equivalently $p_\mu \to p_\mu - eA_\mu$ allows the introduction of electromagnetic interactions. Here $e$ ...
1
vote
1answer
306 views

General definition of vector, spinor, and spin

I am looking for basic and exact definitions of fundamental physical concepts in graduate level. I reach this following definitions. Could you please help to improve these definitions. Spin: ...
5
votes
3answers
1k views

Difference between spinor and vector field [duplicate]

How do we distinguish spinors and vector fields? I want to know it in terms of physics with mathematical argument.
4
votes
1answer
487 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
votes
1answer
385 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
2answers
273 views

Why is the $(\frac{1}{2},\frac{1}{2})$ representation of the Lorentz group realized as the vector space of complex $2\times 2$ matrices?

Why can we write an arbitrary object $v_{a \dot{b} }$ our transformations in this basis act on as $$ v_{a \dot{b} } = v_{\nu} \sigma^{ \nu}_{a \dot{b} } = v^0 \begin{pmatrix} 1&0 \\ 0&1 \...
3
votes
1answer
393 views

Twistor notation in space-time (Part 1)

This is sort of a continuation of this and this previous discussions. In the first of my links one sees the surjective isometry between real or complex $(1,3)$ signature Minkowski space and the real ...
2
votes
2answers
742 views

Two ways to form SU(2) singlets?

I am trying to reconcile the two ways of forming SU(2) singlets out of a pair of doublets. Method (1): If $v=\begin{pmatrix}v^1\\ v^2\end{pmatrix}$ and $w=\begin{pmatrix}w^1\\ w^2\end{pmatrix}$ are ...
1
vote
3answers
2k views

Energy Spectrum of pair of spin-1/2 particles with general Hamiltonian

I found this problem, and so far I am stumped. I was wondering if anyone wanted to solve it with me, or help me calculate eigenvectors, or just give insight on my questions. Consider a system of ...
0
votes
1answer
103 views

What are susy transformations for N=2 sugra?

Killing spinor equations are equations that result from supersymmetric transformations. One example of those is for example is in $N=2$ Supergravity theories. As suggested by some books and papers on ...
0
votes
1answer
96 views

Geometry of spacetime and spinor bilinears

In this paper (http://arxiv.org/abs/0704.0247) p.20, the author says in the section titled Geometry of spacetime the following: In order to obtain the spacetime geometry, we consider the spinor ...
8
votes
2answers
272 views

Is a spinor in some sense connected to space?

Spinors transform under the representation of $SL(2,\mathbb{C})$ which is the double cover of the Lorentz group $SO(1,3)$ - or in the non-relativistic case under $SU(2)$, the double cover of $SO(3)$. ...
4
votes
2answers
83 views

Bilinears in adjoint representation

Below are two statements from my notes and I am trying to verify them explicitly. In both cases the fields are assumed to transform under the fundamental representation of $O(N)$ - --'The kinetic ...
4
votes
1answer
637 views

Components of the Weyl spinor field

In the Weyl basis we can separate the spinor field into 2 components: the right-chiral spinor and the left-chiral spinor. Each of these fields has again 2 components which are coupled. What is the ...
3
votes
1answer
224 views

Lorentz spinors of $SO(n,1)$ and conformal spinors of $SO(n,2)$

It would be great if someone can give me a reference (short enough!) which explains the (spinor) representation theory of the groups $SO(n,1)$ and $SO(n,2)$. I have searched through a few standard ...
2
votes
4answers
272 views

Nature of Fields in QFT

I'm not exactly an expert in quantum physics, but this seems to be a simple question, and I can't find an answer anywhere! There are specific types of fields used in physics: scalar fields (i.e. as ...
1
vote
1answer
413 views

How to find the time evolution for two-component spinor? [closed]

I would like to find the time evolution for the given Hamiltonian, the initial state of the system we choose two spinor wavefunction $\psi_{+}(t=0)$ and $\psi_{-}(t=0)$ as given below: The effective ...
3
votes
2answers
95 views

Different definitions of spinors

Recently I've read a little about the description of particles with spin in the book Quantum Mechanics by Cohen-Tannoudji. Although I yet didn't fully study the subject, I've read one interesting part ...
3
votes
1answer
265 views

Connection between particles and fields and spinor representation of the Poincare group

Let's have a definition of massive particle as an irreucible representation of the Poincare group. Then, let's have a spinor field $\psi_{\alpha \alpha_{1}...\alpha_{n - 1}\dot {\beta} \dot {\beta}_{1}...
3
votes
1answer
303 views

How quantum field transforms in case of some particular spin

Except when a particle is spin-0, field of all particles transforms when frame of reference is changed, and this defines what spin is. The question is, specifically how does the quantum field ...
2
votes
1answer
35 views

Helicity amplitudes and muon/electron currents

I have the following helicity spinor: $$ u_R=\sqrt{E} \begin{pmatrix} c \\ se^{i\phi} \\ c \\ se^{i\phi} \end{pmatrix} $$ We take $s=\sin\theta/2$ and $c=\cos\theta/2$. Also, $E$ and $\phi$ are ...
1
vote
1answer
54 views

Why do $\psi_a$ and $\bar{\psi}_{\dot{\alpha}}$ represent two different degrees of freedom?

I am taking a course in QFT and I've been introduced to the concept of left-handed (undotted) and right-handed spinors (dotted). I know that left-handed spinors are associated with the irreducible ...
1
vote
1answer
350 views

Spinor formalism in QFT

We can describe fields by two formalisms: vector and spinor. This is the result of possibility of representation of the Lorentz's group irreducible rep as straight cross product of two $SU(2)$ or two $...
0
votes
1answer
42 views

Left-handed Majorana mass term forbidden by $SU(2)$?

I'm trying to figure out why a left-handed Majorana mass term is mathematically forbidden by the $SU(2)_L$ symmetry in the context of the seesaw model. As far as I get it, it is because the left ...
0
votes
1answer
73 views

Gordon Identity confusion

For the Gordon identity $$2m \bar{u}_{s'}(\textbf{p}')\gamma^{\mu}u_{s}(\textbf{p}) = \bar{u}_{s'}(\textbf{p}')[(p'+p)^{\mu} -2iS^{\mu\nu} (p'-p)_{\nu}]u_{s}(\textbf{p}) $$ If I plug in $\mu$=5, ...
0
votes
0answers
82 views

Four-momentum and Dirac equation in curved spacetime

Norm of four momentum in Minkowski spacetime is proportional to the square of rest mass as \begin{equation}|P|^2= P^\alpha \eta_{\alpha\beta}P^\beta= (E/c)^2 - p^2 = (mc)^2 \end{equation} While in ...
0
votes
1answer
176 views

Pauli matrices identities

There are some definitions and properties for Pauli matrices and their combinations: $$ \varepsilon^{\alpha \beta } = \varepsilon^{\dot {\alpha} \dot {\beta} } = \begin{pmatrix} 0 & 1 \\ -1 & ...