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3
votes
2answers
270 views

A useful identity for Gell-Mann $su(3)$ matrices?

We have the following beautiful result for Pauli $su(2)$ matrices $$(\vec{\sigma}\cdot\vec{a})(\vec{\sigma}\cdot\vec{b}) = \mathbb{I} ~\vec{a}\cdot\vec{b} + i (\vec{a} \times \vec{b}) \cdot \vec{\...
8
votes
2answers
976 views

Relation between the Dirac Algebra and the Lorentz group

In their book Introduction to Quantum Field Theory, Peskin and Schroeder talk about a trick to form the generators for the Lorentz group from the commutators of the gamma matrices, using their anti-...
2
votes
1answer
902 views

What is the difference between a Pauli spinor, a Weyl spinor, and a Cartan spinor?

I know that a spinor is a complex two components "vector", which is acted on by the $SU(2)$ group under a rotation. In the physics litterature, I often read "Weyl spinors", "Pauli spinors", "Cartan ...
34
votes
2answers
2k views

Is there an elegant proof of the existence of Majorana spinors?

Almost all standard sources on the existence of Majorana spinors (e.g. Appendix B.1 to Polchinski's "String Theory", Vol. 2) do so in a way I consider inherently ugly: A priori, we are dealing with ...
2
votes
1answer
140 views

Use Cartan subalgebra in spinor representation to find weights of vector representation

For $SO(2n)$ we can construct the lie algebra elements by using antisymmetric combinations of $\gamma_\mu$ which obey the Clifford algebra. Up to some prefactor the elements $ S_{\mu \nu} = \alpha [\...
2
votes
1answer
318 views

How to derive the form of the invariant spinor inner product?

So we have gamma matrices that satisfy the spacetime algebra relations, $\{\gamma^\mu, \gamma^\nu\} = 2 \eta^{\mu\nu}$. We know that if we set $\sigma^{\mu\nu} = \frac{1}{4}[\gamma^\mu, \gamma^\nu]$ ...