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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2answers
124 views

Why would a spinor transform under Lorentz transformations?

From my understanding of spinors, they arise as projective representations of $SO_0(1,3)$ that do not correspond to representations of $SO_0(1,3)$. But still one says here - and virtually everywhere - ...
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398 views

Dirac or Schrödinger equation for higher spin?

Given a fermion or boson with an arbitrary integer or half integer spin, then what would be its Dirac or Klein-Gordon equation? Dirac equation for an equation with arbitrary spin 0, 1/2 , 1 , 2 , 3/2 ...
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What is the correct form of Dirac equation?

Usually the Dirac equation in curved space is written as $$i\Gamma^{\mu}D _{\mu}\Psi-m\Psi=0,$$ where $\Gamma_{\mu}$ are curved space gamma matrices and $D_{\mu}$ is covariante derivative. This ...
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200 views

Second order relativistic corrections to Pauli equation from Dirac equation

I'm trying to derive the full and correct Hamiltonian for spin$\frac{1}{2}$ particles from Dirac equation up to second order in $v/c$. For a potential and magnetic field constant in time. In ...
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1answer
201 views

Difference between positron and electron scattering in Coulomb field

In first order of perturbation theory the S-matrix amplitude for electron scattering in the Coulomb field will be (up to normalization factors) $$ S_{fi} = \frac{iZ q^2}{\sqrt{2E_{f}2E_{i}}}\bar {u}(...
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How did we know that the Dirac equation describes the electron but not the proton?

I'm suddenly getting confused on what should be a very simple point. Recall that the $g$-factor of a particle is defined as $$\mu = \frac{ge}{2m} L$$ where $L$ is the spin angular momentum. For any ...
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288 views

Obtaining curved space Dirac equation from action (tetrad formalism)

I'm reading the book Covariant Loop quantum gravity by C.Rovelli where in 3.2 the action of a dirac fermion is presented in the tetrad formalism: $$S= \int \bar{\psi} \gamma^{I} D\psi \wedge e^J \...
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1answer
183 views

Transformation of Weyl spinors

I usually see Weyl spinor and Weyl equations as derived from Dirac equation, like in Peskin. Now, I'm following a course where the professor actually builds Weyl spinor lagrangians BEFORE talking ...
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1answer
37 views

$CP$-transformation for spinor field. $C$ and $P$ do not commute?

I am bothered by an exercise about CP transformations where I get the result that CP acting on a Dirac spinor field is not the same as the PC transformation. The exercise states the following ...
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1answer
200 views

How to derive Feynman propagator from Schrödinger equation?

So I start with the Hamiltonian operator for a Dirac field: $$\hat{H} = \gamma.\partial + i \gamma_5 m$$ I define the transition Green's function so that it acts like the time evolution operator: $$...
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Do the equations of motion simply tell us which degrees of freedom are superfluous?

A massless spin $1$ particle in 4D has 2 degrees of freedom. However, we usually describe it using four-vectors, which have four components. Hence, somehow we must get rid of the superfluous degrees ...
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How can we interpret the components of a polarization four-vector?

The four components of a Dirac spinor can be interpreted in terms of left-chiral and right-chiral spin up and spin down states. How can we interpret the four components of a polarization four vector $...
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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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Why does the Dirac equation work for the hydrogen atom?

The Dirac equation works well for predicting the spectrum of the hydrogen atom, famously incorporating relativistic effects like fine structure. Yet, there seems to be a sense in which this is ...
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1answer
88 views

Commutation relation for Dirac field

In "Quantum Field Theory" by Peskin and Schroeder, I couldn't understand the commutation relation calculation for Dirac field (pg. 53): $$ \begin{align} \psi(x) &= \int \frac{d^3p}{(2\pi)^3} ...
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Dirac equation boundary conditions

In Schroedinger equation, which is second order differential equation, one normally, equates both $\psi(x)$ and $\psi'(x)$ across the boundary, as boundary conditions. However, the dirac equation ...
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1answer
63 views

Quantization of the massless neutrino field

If a massless neutrino or anti-neutrino is considered (in the whole post I consider neutrinos res. anti-neutrinos as mass-less), it is described by the Weyl-equation: $$\overline{\sigma}^{\mu}\...
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1answer
75 views

Is there a coordinate-free Dirac equation?

Dirac equation is always written with indices. Is there any way to write it down without any indices ABSTRACT or not, and without coordinates,basis vectors etc..?
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1answer
84 views

Relativistic Von Neumann equation?

In non-relativistic quantum theory, Schrödinger's equation can be re-expressed using the density matrix $\rho=|\psi\rangle \langle\psi|$ as the Von Neumann equation: $$i\partial_t \rho = \frac{1}{\...
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1answer
81 views

Electron spin g-factor

I am reading Schwartz's book on Quantum field theory. In the chapter anomalous magnetic moment (chapter 17) he mentions that Dirac equation naturally implies that the electron spin $g$-factor is 2. ...
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Can we derive $\vec{S}=\frac{1}{2}\vec{\Sigma}$ in a representation independent way in terms $\vec{\alpha},\vec{\beta}$?

For the Hamiltonian $H=(\vec{\alpha}\cdot \vec{p}+\vec{\beta}m)$ of the Dirac equation $i\frac{\partial \psi}{\partial t}=H\psi$, it can be shown that $[H,\vec{L}]=-i(\vec{\alpha}\times\vec{p})$. Now, ...
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313 views

Does electron have some intrinsic ~$10^{21}$ Hz oscillations (de Broglie's clock/Zitterbewegung)?

Louis De Broglie has postulated in 1924 that with electron's mass there comes some $\approx 10^{21}$Hz inner oscillation: $E=mc^2=h f=\hbar \omega$. We would get such oscillation e.g. if using $E=mc^...
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Showing hermiticity properties of Dirac matrices using hamiltonians

I want to show $${\gamma^0}^\dagger=\gamma^0\\ {\gamma^i}^\dagger=-\gamma^i.$$ To do this I consider the Dirac equation $$ (i\gamma^\mu\partial_\mu-m)\psi=0$$ and I write it as $$ i\partial_t \psi=(...
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1answer
131 views

How does the negative energy solution to the Dirac equation predict the antielectron?

Please, can someone explain how the negative energy solution can be used to predict the existence of the antielectron?
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1answer
275 views

Thinking about spin triplet and singlet states in QFT

In the case of quantum mechanics, we can think of $SU(2)$'s 2-dimensional representation, which describes spin-1/2 space. This allows us to understand the spin state the pair of spin-1/2 particles by ...
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1answer
493 views

Calculation of effective action

For a massless Dirac particle by integrating fermion degree of freedom in path integral, effective action is resulted for gauge field $$l(\psi,\bar\psi,A)=\bar\psi( \gamma^\mu (i \partial_\mu +A_\mu )...
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404 views

What spinor field corresponds to a forwards moving positron?

When we search for spinor solutions to the Dirac equation, we consider the 'positive' and 'negative' frequency ansatzes $$ u(p)\, e^{-ip\cdot x} \quad \text{and} \quad v(p)\, e^{ip\cdot x} \,,$$ ...
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1answer
47 views

Some counting of field degrees of freedom for a classical spin-1/2 Dirac field

A classical real scalar field admits a decomposition $$\phi(x)\sim a_pe^{-ip\cdot x}+a_p^*e^{+ip\cdot x}$$ which tells that at each $x$, there exists a real number i.e., one degree of freedom at each ...
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427 views

Relation between spinors and anticommutation relation of fermions

I read that the state of a pair of particles is the tensor product of the single states of both, and you will get a wavefunction with the parameters of both, if you swap the parameters you will get a ...
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1answer
87 views

Why can we use the equation of motion to calculate the amplitude in “Quantum Field Theory”?

I am reading the chapter on electron-proton scattering from "Quantum Field Theory in a Nutshell". The author calculates the amplitude of the electron-proton scattering (up to the second order). The ...
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Lorentz invariant probability from the Dirac equation

My question is regarding a proof given in Greiner's "Relatavistic Quantum Mechanics", 3rd Edition textbook. On pg 148, he proves that the current density $j^{\nu}(x)$ is invariant to a Lorentz ...
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63 views

Dirac matrices for generalized metric tensors

The Dirac matrices are defined by the relations $$\left [\gamma^{i},\gamma^{j}\right]_{+}=2\eta^{i,j}\mathbb{1}$$ where $[\cdot,\cdot]_{+}$ is the anti-commutator. What happens if I replace $\eta^{i,...
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1answer
53 views

Why does the charge conjugation of the spinor transform as a spinor?

I have come across (in QFT Nutshell, A. Zee) how the charge conjugation of the spinor, $\psi_c \equiv \gamma^2 \psi^*$, transform (where $\gamma^2=\sigma^2\otimes i\tau^2$ is the component of the ...
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1answer
141 views

From relativistic equation to find Dirac matrices

Is this possible and then how? $$((\gamma \otimes \mathbf\sigma)\bullet\mathbf p)(\gamma^\prime\otimes\mathbf 1_2) = \gamma\gamma^\prime\otimes\sigma \bullet \mathbf p $$ where $\gamma$ and $\gamma^\...
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Why does the majorana equation preserve handedness?

In the "QFT Nutshell" by A. Zee, it is stated that The Majorana equation is $$i\not\partial\psi=m\psi_c$$ where $\psi_c$ is the charge conjugated spinor $\psi_c = \left(C\gamma^0\right)\psi^*$....
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3answers
332 views

$(c^{\mu}\partial_{\mu}-m)\phi(x)=0$ not Lorentz-invariant?

I have a question about the following passage on pg. 89 of Zee's QFT in a nutshell: At first sight, what Dirac wanted does not make sense. The equation is supposed to have the form "some linear ...
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50 views

A question about Lorentz invariant argument when writing down the Dirac equation [duplicate]

According to the chapter II.1 in "Quantum Field Theory in a Nutshell" by A. Zee, Dirac was trying to write down the relativistic wave equation linear in spacetime derivative. The author stated that ...
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Limit on speed of expansion of the bounded support interval of a position wave function in relativistic quantum mechanics

If the support of a quantum mechanical position wave function is a bounded interval, and that interval is expanding or contracting, then I think it cannot change in any direction faster than $c$. To ...
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1answer
764 views

Confusion about Dirac mass term

In chiral basis, $\psi=\begin{pmatrix} \psi_L\\ \psi_R \end{pmatrix}$ and therefore, $\overline\psi=\psi^\dagger\gamma^0=\begin{pmatrix} \psi^\dagger_L & \psi^\dagger_R \end{pmatrix}\gamma^0=\...
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What's the path of least action for fermions off-shell?

The Lagrangian of fermions is first order both in space-derivatives and time-derivatives. In the variation of the action one usually fixes both the initial point and end point. I have the following ...
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Commutation relations in QFT [duplicate]

So I have just started learning QFT. So you take a classical field and turn the degrees of freedom into operators. All fine, just like normal quantum. However I am confused about the commutation ...
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49 views

Relativistic quantum field theory

Let $\psi(x)$ be solution of Dirac equation $$ (\gamma^\mu\Pi_\mu-mc) \psi(x)=0 $$ where $\Pi_\mu=i\partial_\mu-eA_\mu$ is momentum operator in present electromagnetic field . We consider tow ...
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Did Dirac derive the correct equation for the wrong reasons? [closed]

Did Dirac derive the correct equation for the wrong reasons? This is a question about the historical discovery of the Dirac equation and how it was deduced. Looking back at that discovery with our ...
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1answer
40 views

Removing “electric dipole moment” from non-relativistic Dirac equation

I have found many sources (c.f. Schwartz's QFT book section 10.4) that try to obtain the non-relativistic limit of the Dirac equation by first "squaring it" so that it looks somewhat like the Klein-...
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2answers
298 views

Dirac equation in 1+1D spacetime compared to “standard” 3+1D Dirac equation

In the past couple of weeks I've been studying the Dirac equation and its solutions. During a discussion with a tutor it was pointed out to me that one could formulate something similar to the Dirac ...
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1answer
53 views

Is total mass conserved for free Dirac fermions?

I am studying quantum field theory and stumbled across the following problem: Is the total mass conserved for free Dirac fermions? I.e., does the total mass operator commute with the Dirac ...
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1answer
154 views

Coupling a spinor field to a preexisting scalar field?

So I'm not a physicist, but I'm thinking about a mathematical problem where I think physical insight might be useful. We're working on a Riemannian manifold $(M,g)$ (positive definite metric) with a ...
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1answer
171 views

Lorentz covariant propagator

So the Feynman propagator for a Klein Gordon is manifestly Lorentz invariant clearly by looking at the momentum space representation written in terms of Lorentz scalars. But in the case of the Dirac/ ...
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1answer
51 views

Non-relativistic limit of the coupled Dirac equation

In Greiner's relativistic quantum mechanics textbook he has a derivation of the Pauli equation as a nonrelativistic limit of the coupled Dirac equation. Just below Eq. (2.81) he makes the following ...
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2answers
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Parity operator expression in relativistic quantum mechanics

I was reading Schwabl's Advanced quantum mechanics. In that book it is written in the Spatial reflection part that the parity operator is $P=e^{i\phi}\gamma^0$.But after some lines it is written as $P=...