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10

This is standard theory. Try Birrell, N. D., & Davies, P. C. W. (1982). Quantum Fields in Curved Space. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Bog standard Curved space QFT text. Don't remember how much is said specifically about spinors though. Brill, D., & Wheeler, J. (1957). Interaction of Neutrinos and Gravitational Fields. Reviews of Modern ...


10

The Dirac equation for a particle with charge $e$ is $$ \left[\gamma^\mu (i\partial_\mu - e A_\mu) - m \right] \psi = 0 $$ We want to know if we can construct a spinor $\psi^c$ with the opposite charge from $\psi$. This would obey the equation $$ \left[\gamma^\mu (i\partial_\mu + e A_\mu) - m \right] \psi^c = 0 $$ If you know about gauge transformations $$ ...


10

The interpretation of the Dirac equation states depend on what representation you choose for your $\gamma^\mu$-matrices or your $\alpha_i$ and $\beta$-matrices depending on what you prefer. Both are linked via $\gamma^\mu=(\beta,\beta\vec{\alpha})$. Choosing your representation will (more or less) fix your basis in which you consider the solutions to your ...


9

The mistake you are making is in "daggering" the object $\omega_{\mu\nu}$. For each $\mu, \nu = 0,\dots 3$, the symbol $\omega_{\mu\nu}$ is a real number, so its dagger (which is really just complex conjugation in this case) does nothing; $(\omega_{\mu\nu})^\dagger = \omega_{\mu\nu}$. When we say that $\omega_{\mu\nu}$ is an antisymmetric real matrix, we ...


9

We know that we can describe a spin $1/2$ massless particle using only a single Weyl field (lets say left-handed $\psi_{L}$). To introduce a mass term we have to use two spinor fields (one left-handed and one right-handed) and this gives the Dirac mass term. The question is now that if we can describe a massive particle with a single Weyl field. Well yes, ...


8

The Zitterbewegung is more of a relic of the early Dirac equation days. It does not exist in the standard position, velocity and acceleration operators of the single particle field, only in alternatively derived versions. These alternative versions were developed because people thought the standard operators were wrong. In fact they didn't understand the ...


8

Dear rubenb, yes, what your professor says is surely based on solid maths. The reason is that the 4-component Dirac spinor is actually composed of two separate 2-component pieces. The elementary "spinors" for 3+1 dimensions have two complex components. That results from the isomorphism between groups $$SL(2,C) \sim Spin (3,1).$$ Note that both groups have 6 ...


8

Spin is a property of the representation of the rotation group $SO(3)$ that describes how a field transforms under a rotation. This can be worked out for each kind of field or field equation. The Klein-Gordon field gives a spin 0 representation, while the Dirac equation gives two spin 1/2 representations (which merge to a single representation if one also ...


7

Let us generalize from four space-time dimensions to a $d$-dimensional Clifford algebra $C$. Define $$\tag{1} p~:=~[\frac{d}{2}], $$ where $[\cdot]$ denotes the integer part. OP's question then becomes Why must the dimension $n$ of a finite dimensional representation $V$ be a multiple of $2^p$? Proof: If $C\subseteq {\rm End}(V)$ and $V$ are both ...


6

For massless particles, helicity coincides with chirality thus you ask to find the basis such that $$ \psi_{\pm}=\left( \psi_{\mp}\right) ^{\star},\quad\gamma_{5}\psi_{\pm}% =\pm\psi_{\pm}. $$ Using the decomposition of hermitian operator: $$ \left( \gamma_{5}\right) _{ij}=\left( \psi_{+}\right) _{i}\left( \psi _{+}^{\star}\right) _{j}-\left( ...


6

The expression $A^{\mu}B_{\mu}$ simply means that $$A^{\mu}B_{\mu}=A^{0}B_{0}+A^{1}B_{1}+A^{2}B_{2}+A^{3}B_{3}$$ Using the Minkowski metric with signature $(+---)$ you write this as $$A^{\mu}B_{\mu}=A^{\mu}\eta_{\mu\nu}B^{\nu}=A^{0}B^{0}-A^{1}B^{1}-A^{2}B^{2}-A^{3}B^{3}$$ The metric simply tells you have how the components of a vector and its dual vector ...


5

$$(\psi^\dagger \gamma^0 \psi)^* = \psi^\dagger \gamma^0 \psi$$ because $\gamma^0$ is hermitian. Also, $$ \begin{align} (\psi^\dagger i \gamma^0 \gamma^\mu \partial_\mu \psi)^* &= -i \partial_\mu\psi^\dagger \gamma^{\mu\dagger} \gamma^0 \psi\\ &= -i \partial_\mu\psi^\dagger (\gamma^0 \gamma^\mu \gamma^0)\gamma^0 \psi\\ &= -i ...


5

Hints : a) Find a representation for the gamma matrices for a space-time with one spatial dimension, from their defining relation $\gamma^\mu \gamma^\nu + \gamma^\nu \gamma^\mu= 2 g^{\mu \nu}$ b) Remember the Dirac equation in presence of an electromagnetic field : $[i \gamma^\mu(\partial_\mu + ie A_\mu) - m] \psi=0$ c) Think to the potential $U$ as a ...


5

Think it with an example, Einstein's field equations are much more precise than Newton's law of gravity, but it's much more complicated to solve a Classical Mechanics problem with General Relativity. More fundamental and precise doesn't mean that it will give easier calculations. If it did, then then chemistry, medicine, etc... wouldn't exist because they ...


5

This particular extra term may be removed by a field redefinition $$\psi\to \psi' = \psi - K \cdot \gamma^\mu \partial_\mu \psi $$ for an appropriate value of $K\sim 1/\Lambda$, up to terms that are even higher dimension operators. This also modifies the mass. This field redefinition is an explicit off-shell way to realize Vibert's comment that one is just ...


5

The Lagrangian density for a Dirac field is $$ \mathcal{L} = i\bar\psi\gamma^\mu\partial_\mu\psi -m \bar\psi\psi $$ The Euler-Lagrange equation reads $$ \frac{\partial\mathcal{L}}{\partial\psi} - \frac{\partial}{\partial x^\mu}\left[\frac{\partial\mathcal{L}}{\partial(\partial_\mu\psi)}\right] = 0 $$ We treat $\psi$ and $\bar\psi$ as independent dynamical ...


5

Yes. You are missing the fact that he is using the convention $$ \nabla = (\partial_1, \partial_2, \partial_3) $$ as opposed to $$ \nabla = (\partial^1, \partial^2, \partial^3) $$ The first convention is by far the most common in my experience.


5

Symmetric under charge conjugation (which gives us positrons) and symmetric under the sign of the energy are two different things, which is where I think you are getting confused. Negative energy electrons aren't positrons, they are negative energy electrons. The absence of a negative energy electron in the "sea of charge" can be viewed as a positive ...


5

For the details of the physics involved in the two ways of interpreting the Dirac wave equation I recommend chapters XI and XII of Dirac's "Principles of Quantum Mechanics" 4th edition, and chapters XX and XXI of Messiah's "Quantum Mechanics", vol. II. For the more historical details I recommend chapters 5 and 6 of Crease and Mann's "The Second Creation", ...


5

I think that the first volume of the series "The Quantum Theory of Fields", by Steven Weinberg, is a good text to understand the origin of Dirac equation, QFT, and all these kind of topics. Maybe Weinberg's books are not the best for a first course in QFT (or in General Relativity, he has also a great book on this topic), but his great coverage and unique ...


5

Dirac's derivation of the existence of positrons that you described was a totally legitimate and solid argument and Dirac rightfully received a Nobel prize for this derivation. As you correctly say, the same "sea" argument depending on Pauli's exclusion principle isn't really working for bosons. Modern QFT textbooks want to present fermions and bosons in a ...


5

What you've written down is the spatial part of the electron wavefunction. The spin state is not included. The full wavefunction of the electron involves both the spatial part and the spin part. Sometimes in quantum mechanics books the full electron wavefunction is written as the tensor product of the spatial and spinor parts, sometimes you'll just see it ...


4

Now, I don't know what the word rigorous means, but here is a straight off the bat naive answer. Given $$ H = \int d^3 x \, \bar{\Psi}(i \gamma_i \partial_i +m)\Psi $$ from $$ \mathcal{L} = i\bar{\Psi}\gamma^{\mu}\partial_{\mu}\Psi - \bar{\Psi} m \Psi \quad \text{and}\quad H = \int d^3x \, (\pi \dot{\Psi}-\mathcal{L}) $$ with $(+,-,-,-)$. Let's use the ...


4

To write down Dirac's equation over curved spacetime, first express the geometry in terms of vierbeins and spin connections. Spinor bundles are vector bundles over spacetime transforming locally under the local Lorentz gauge group. Using the spin connection, we can write down covariant derivatives for sections of the spinor bundle. To get the Dirac operator, ...


4

No, it's with a plus. You don't need to change the sign unless both indices are upper (or lower).


4

Dirac's explanation of the emergence of antiparticles such as positrons out of the Dirac sea, and the Dirac sea itself, is completely valid and legitimate, and you have described some non-quantitative aspects of it and differences between it and some condensed-matter situations. Dirac just began with the assumption that the Dirac spinor field $\Psi$ is a ...


4

First, to get the equation you want apply $(i\gamma^\nu\partial_\nu + m)$ to both sides, then on the left hand side you'll get \begin{align} (i\gamma^\nu\partial_\nu + m)(i\gamma^\mu\partial_\mu - m)\psi &= (-\gamma^\nu\gamma^\mu\partial_\nu\partial_\mu-m^2)\psi \end{align} which, when set to zero, gives $$ ...


4

First, C) isn't the Dirac Equation, it's the Klein-Gordon equation Now, to your main question. A) comes from the classical equation for a free massive particle: $\dfrac{p^2}{2m} = E$ by making the operator (operating on $\phi$) substitutions: $p^2 \rightarrow - \hbar^2 \nabla^2$ $E \rightarrow i \hbar \dfrac{\partial}{\partial t}$ C) comes from B) by ...


4

Let's review how the KG equation is recovered from the Dirac: (in natural units where $\hbar=c_0=1)$ $$(i\gamma^\mu \partial_\mu - m)\Psi = 0$$ $$(-i \gamma^\mu \partial_\mu - m)(i \gamma^\mu \partial_\mu - m) = 0$$ $$(\gamma^\nu \gamma^\mu \partial_\nu \partial_\mu + m^2) \Psi = 0$$ $$(\partial^2+m^2)\Psi = 0.$$ In order for us to recover KG, we had to ...



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