The Dirac equation describes the behaviour of non-interacting spin-$1/2$ fermions in a quantum-field-theoretic framework and is given by


where $\gamma^{\mu}$ are the so-called gamma matrices which obey the Clifford algebra $\{\gamma^{\mu},\gamma^{\nu}\}=2g^{\mu\nu}$ and the spinor $\psi$ is the vector space on which the gamma matrices act. Therefore, the dimension of the gamma matrices fixes the dimension of the spinor.

The spinor $\psi$ that describes spin-$1/2$ fermions in this quantum-field-theoretic framework is a $4$-dimensional vector and the gamma matrices are $4$-dimensional matrices.

The smallest number of dimensions of the gamma matrices that satisfy the Clifford algebra is $4$. Can we not consider higher-dimensional gamma matrices and corresponding spinors?

What determines the dimensions of the gamma matrices and the spinors?

What are the possible generalisations of the Dirac equation in higher dimensions? Does this involve an increase in the number of gamma matrices?


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.