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How does interpreting negative energy electrons as positive energy positrons solve the negative energy problem? How does change of “interpretation” without fixing the mathematics have such a profound impact on the underlying physics? (After all, don't we still interpret positrons and electrons as excitations of the same underlying spinor field?).

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  • $\begingroup$ Hi Dave - we prefer to have one question per post here, so I've removed your second one. Feel free to post it separately. $\endgroup$ – David Z Nov 18 '14 at 5:15
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It basically boils down to the term $e^{-\frac i\hbar E t}$, where the minus can either be included in the energy, making it negative, or into the time. But a negative charge moving backwards in time is exactly the same as a positive charge moving forwards in time, and that is much more sensible than negative energy.

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  • $\begingroup$ Interesting. I'll have to look up why charge conjugation reverses time. Great! $\endgroup$ – Dave Nov 18 '14 at 7:25
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    $\begingroup$ @Dave you can use classical electrodynamics for that, when you swap the sign of all time derivatives and of all charge terms in the Maxwell equations, they remain the same. $\endgroup$ – Tobias Kienzler Nov 18 '14 at 7:28

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