Dirac sea is a model for vacuum which considers the empty space as a sea full of negative-energy particles. Anti-particles are holes in this sea. Dirac sea is used to model Quantum field theory in the paper below:


Here, Bohmian trajectories are assumed for all particles, even the particles in the Dirac sea.

My question is, if the negative-energy particles filling the Dirac sea have any mass or do they show any gravitational effect BEFORE they are created as real particles?

How about other QFT models? Do particles have any mass/gravitational effect before they are created? I think they do in the short time between creation and annihilation.

  • $\begingroup$ The Dirac sea is an idea that is historically important, but not state of the art. The simplest way to see that there is something wrong with it is to note that this idea does not work for bosons, as it relies on the exclusion principle. $\endgroup$ – marmot Dec 22 '18 at 23:56
  • $\begingroup$ @marmot I don't know about "state of the art," but there are plenty of particle physicists who think of the Dirac sea as the "real" explanation for the existence of antifermions. $\endgroup$ – Buzz Dec 23 '18 at 0:22
  • $\begingroup$ Well, what can I say? If you meet them, you may want to ask them why this explanation fails to work for bosons. To the best of my knowledge, the modern view is that you have creation and annihilation operators for particles and antiparticles. So the absence of a state with negative energy, i.e. a hole in the Dirac sea, becomes the presence of an antiparticle in the modern view. $\endgroup$ – marmot Dec 23 '18 at 0:27
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    $\begingroup$ The Dirac sea would exhibit no gravitatonal effects due to the shell theorem. $\endgroup$ – Lewis Miller Dec 23 '18 at 0:31
  • $\begingroup$ @Lewis thanks, but how can we think of the dirac sea as a spherical shell (which is the object of interest in the shell theorem)? why can the particles in the dirac sea be considered to be in a spherical shell? $\endgroup$ – Ali Lavasani Dec 23 '18 at 1:03

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