Questions tagged [dirac-equation]

A fully relativistic (Lorentz covariant) description, first put forward by Paul Dirac in 1928, of the first quantized, spin one half fermion with nonzero mass. Physical notions to do with this equation include the Dirac sea, Dirac hole theory, the Klein Paradox and the fine structure of the Hydrogen spectrum.

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6
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1answer
818 views

Higher dimension operator in free Dirac Lagrangian

When discussing higher dimensional operators in a theory with fermions, why do I never see anyone ever talk about the dimension five operator $\partial_\mu\bar\psi\partial^\mu\psi$? How does the ...
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551 views

A step in the derivation of the magnetic moment of the electron in Zee's QFT book

In chapter III.6 of his Quantum Field Theory in a Nutshell, A. Zee sets out to derive the magnetic moment of an electron in quantum electrodynamics. He starts by replacing in the Dirac equation the ...
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104 views

Translate a two dimensional classical Dirac theory to a (1+1)-dim quantum theory

Suppose I have a two dimensional classical Dirac Hamiltonian with $\Psi=(\psi_1,\psi_2)^T$: $$ H=\int \mathrm{d}x \mathrm{d}y \Psi^\dagger(\sigma^x i\partial_x+\sigma^y i\partial_y+m\sigma^z)\Psi. $$ ...
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1answer
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What is the relativistic particle in a box?

I know people try to solve Dirac equation in a box. Some claim it cannot be done. Some claim that they had found the solution, I have seen three and they are all different and bizarre. But my main ...
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2answers
317 views

Spinors Under Spatial Reflection

How eq(4.4) is a solution of eq(4.3)
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2answers
373 views

Energy spectrum of a Dirac electron

How do you explain easily "The spectrum of an electron in a repulsive potential " and hence "bound state of charge conjugation" in Dirac hole theory ?
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Dirac equation as Hamiltonian system

Let us consider Dirac equation $$(i\gamma^\mu\partial_\mu -m)\psi ~=~0$$ as a classical field equation. Is it possible to introduce Poisson bracket on the space of spinors $\psi$ in such a way that ...
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1answer
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Charge conjugation in Dirac equation

I need to know the mathematical argument that how the relation is true $(C^{-1})^T\gamma ^ \mu C^T = - \gamma ^{\mu T} $ . Where $C$ is defined by $U=C \gamma^0$ ; $U$= non singular matrix , $T$= ...
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931 views

Dirac action and conventions

I have a (possibly) fundamental question, which is driving me crazy. Notation When considering the Dirac action (say reading Peskin's book), one have $\int dV\;\bar{\psi}\left(\imath\not\partial-m\...
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What happens to the Lagrangian of the Dirac theory under charge conjugation?

Consider a charge conjugation operator which acts on the Dirac field($\psi$) as $$\psi_{C} \equiv \mathcal{C}\psi\mathcal{C}^{-1} = C\gamma_{0}^{T}\psi^{*}$$ Just as we can operate the parity operator ...
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1answer
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Matrix order in Dirac equations

The trace of matrix is always sum of its eigen values , which can be seen if $\hat{U}$ transforms the matrix $\alpha_i$ into it's diagonal form . $$ \begin{pmatrix} A_1 & 0 & \cdots & 0 \...
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What is the difference between a spinor and a vector or a tensor?

Why do we call a 1/2 spin particle satisfying the Dirac equation a spinor, and not a vector or a tensor?
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1answer
735 views

Negative probability and spin-0 scalar field in Klein-Gordon equation

Klein-Gordon equation in quantum field theory is known to suffer from the possibility of negative probability. So, the question is, despite this, Klein-Gordon describes spin-zero field. So, how can ...
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2answers
331 views

numerical formulation of Dirac equation plus electromagnetic field

I have the following equations describing the electron field in a (classic) electromagnetic field: $$ c\left(\alpha _i\right.{\cdot (P - q(A + A_b) + \beta mc) \psi = E \psi } $$ where $A_b$ is ...
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Why would Klein-Gordon describe spin-0 scalar field while Dirac describe spin-1/2?

The derivation of both Klein-Gordon equation and Dirac equation is due the need of quantum mechanics (or to say more correctly, quantum field theory) to adhere to special relativity. However, excpet ...
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1answer
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Solution to Klein-Gordon equation always valid?

We know that there is a relativistic version of Schrodinger equation called Klein-Gordon equation. However, it has some problems and due to these problems, there is Dirac equation that handles these ...
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1answer
421 views

Complete set and Klein-Gordon equation

In http://www.physics.ucdavis.edu/~cheng/teaching/230A-s07/rqm2_rev.pdf, it says that when there is some external potential, the Klein-Gordon equation is altered, and it says the following: The ...
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1answer
967 views

Explanation of equation that shows a failed approach to relativize Schrodinger equation

I'm reading the Wikipedia page for the Dirac equation: $\rho=\phi^*\phi\,$ ...... $J = -\frac{i\hbar}{2m}(\phi^*\nabla\phi - \phi\nabla\phi^*)$ with the conservation of probability ...
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1answer
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How did one get the defining equation of probability current and conservation of probability current and density?

I'm reading the Wikipedia page for the Dirac equation: $$\rho=\phi^*\phi$$ and this density is convected according to the probability current vector $$J = -\frac{i\hbar}{2m}(\phi^*\...
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1answer
2k views

How to obtain Dirac equation from Schrodinger equation and special relativity?

I'm reading the Wikipedia page for the Dirac equation: The Dirac equation is superficially similar to the Schrödinger equation for a free massive particle: A) $-\frac{\hbar^2}{2m}\nabla^2\...
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2answers
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How to construct the charge conjugation matrix for any given spacetime dimension?

Generally, Gamma matrices could be constructed based on the Clifford algebra. \begin{equation} \gamma^{i}\gamma^{j}+\gamma^{j}\gamma^{i}=2h^{ij}, \end{equation} My question is how to generally ...
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2answers
518 views

momentum four vector and dirac matrices

$$c\left(\alpha _i\right.{\cdot P + \beta mc) \psi = E \psi } $$ From the above dirac equation it can be shown for zero momenta that spin and antimatter are associated with $\beta $. On the other ...
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Showing that electron and positrons have the same absolute charge

In Zee's quantum field theory in a nutshell, 2nd edition, pg 551 he has the charge of a Dirac field written as $Q=\int {d^3p \over (2\pi)^3(E_p/m)} \sum_s \{b^\dagger(p,s)b(p,s)-d^\dagger(p,s)d(p,...
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1answer
326 views

Charge and the Dirac field

In Zee's quantum field theory in a nutshell, 2nd edition, pg 550 he has $Q=\int {d^3p \over (2\pi)^3(E_p/m)} \sum_s \{b^\dagger(p,s)b(p,s)-d^\dagger(p,s)d(p,s)\}$ showing clearly that $b$ ...
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Exact energies of spherical harmonic oscillator in Dirac equation

The potential is given by: $$ V(r) = {1\over 2} \omega^2 r^2 $$ and we are solving the radial Dirac equation (in atomic units): $$ c{d P(r)\over d r} + c {\kappa\over r} P(r) + Q(r) (V(r)-2mc^2) = E Q(...
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709 views

Relation for Dirac-spinors of different helicities

Assume that we have massless spin-1/2 particles. The Dirac-spinor is the solution of the Dirac equation: $$ p^\mu \gamma_\mu u_\pm(p) = 0, \quad p^2 = 0$$ The subscripts $\pm$ denote two different ...
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676 views

Dirac equation as canonical quantization?

First of all, I'm not a physicist, I'm mathematics phd student, but I have one elementary physical question and was not able to find answer in standard textbooks. Motivation is quite simple: let me ...
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1answer
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Magnetic moment derivation from Dirac equation

I am reading a text book where they show the electron has spin 1/2 using Dirac's equation. At one point in the derivation they define $\pi=P-qA/c$ where $P$ is the momentum operator and A is the ...
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3answers
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Is Zitterbewegung an artefact of single-particle theory?

I have seen a number of articles on Zitterbewegung claiming searches for it such as this one: http://arxiv.org/abs/0810.2186. Others such as the so-called ZBW interpretation by Hestenes seemingly ...
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What is negative about negative energy states in the Dirac equation?

This question is a follow up to What was missing in Dirac's argument to come up with the modern interpretation of the positron? There still is some confusion in my mind about the so-called "...
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1answer
285 views

Finding wave-fuctions of a Dirac particle for given 4-momentum and spin 4-vector

I've been reading through various materials on relativistic quantum mechanics, but I find the lack of simple examples disturbing. I'm acquainted with the general form the solutions to the Dirac ...
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2answers
983 views

Spin matrices in Dirac equation

Why in every textbook when deriving Dirac's equation the smallest possible matrices ($2 \times 2$) are used? I wonder why one couldn't use spin 1 matrices ($3 \times 3$) and get relativistic equation ...
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3answers
709 views

How does one interpret the Dirac equation with a self-field potential?

EVERY QFT text I've ever examined states that if there is an external vector potential, $A_\mu$, then one writes the Dirac eq.(or Klein-Gordon eq.) using a covariant derivative to include this U(1) ...
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5answers
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What was missing in Dirac's argument to come up with the modern interpretation of the positron?

When Dirac found his equation for the electron $(-i\gamma^\mu\partial_\mu+m)\psi=0$ he famously discovered that it had negative energy solutions. In order to solve the problem of the stability of the ...
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2answers
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How did Paul Dirac predict the existence of antiproton?

The existence of the antiproton with -1 electric charge, opposite to the +1 electric charge of the proton, was predicted by Paul Dirac in his 1933 Nobel Prize lecture. Quotation by Wikipedia. ...
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Where is spin in the Schroedinger equation of an electron in the hydrogen atom?

In my current quantum mechanics, course, we have derived in full (I believe?) the wave equations for the time-independent stationary states of the hydrogen atom. We are told that the Pauli Exclusion ...
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1answer
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What is the exponential form gamma matrix for a general rotation and boost?

It would be nice to have a cute method that uses Lorentz transformations of basis vectors by exponential transformation using gamma matrices. To avoid confusion, let's assume -+++ signature. Given $\...
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1answer
788 views

Dirac equation algebraic derivation, a gauge symmetry

Suppose i try to derive the most generic Dirac-like equation (that is, as factors of first-order expression in momenta and mass operator where we allow coefficients that are associative, don't ...
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4answers
2k views

Why are four-vectors needed in the Dirac equation, when there are 4 linearly independent 2D matrices?

I was taught that for the Dirac-equation to "work", you need matrices of the following form: $Tr(\alpha^i) = 0$. Eigenvalues +1 or -1 2 previous points together: equal number of negative and positive ...
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4answers
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Dirac equation on general geometries?

I have a numerical method for computing solutions to the Dirac equation for a spin 1/2 particle constrained to an arbitrary surface and am interested in finding applications where the configuration ...
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7answers
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Evolution in the interpretation of the Dirac equation

As I understand, Dirac equation was first interpreted as a wave equation following the ideas of non relativistic quantum mechanics, but this lead to different problems. The equation was then ...