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Questions tagged [spinors]

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Pauli matrices and spinor identity

How to prove that: $$(\sigma^\mu \bar{\xi}_2)_\alpha \partial_\mu (\xi_1 \psi)=-(\sigma^\mu\bar{\xi}_2)_\beta \xi_{1\alpha}\partial_\mu\psi^\beta-(\xi_1\sigma^\mu\bar{\xi}_2)\partial_\mu \psi_\alpha\...
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3answers
103 views

Are pseudospinors valid or useful?

We all know that in addition to scalars and vectors, there are pseudoscalars and pseudovectors, which have an additional sign flip under parity. These are useful and necessary when constructing ...
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1answer
154 views

What's the reasoning behind propagators definitions (specifically fermionic propagators)

I'm studying QFT by David Tong's lecture notes. When he discusses causility with real scalar fields, he defines the propagator as $$D(x-y)=\left\langle0\right|\phi(x)\phi(y)\left|0\right\rangle=\int\...
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Why can the spin operator be written as a product of fermions?

I was studying the Hubbard model, where we define the spin operator $\vec{S} = \frac{1}{2} c^\dagger \vec{\sigma} c$, where the creation and annihilation operators are both vectors of the form $c^\...
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0answers
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Four-brackets (Hodges, Momentum Twistors)

I use the reference from Andrew Hodges, available at https://arxiv.org/abs/0905.1473. I am having trouble understanding his use of the four-bracket. I refer to equation 6 and equation 9, where he ...
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1answer
144 views

Is there any Classical Mechanics system which needs to be described by a spinor?

We need an ordinary number (scalar) to describe a harmonic oscillator, and a vector to describe, for example, a pendulum. Is there any similarly simple system which we need to describe using a (two-...
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29 views

My Struggle with Fierz Identity

I am following BUSSTEPP Lectures on Supersymmetry to learn SUSY. The Lagrangian of a interacting Wess-Zumino model in 4D is given by $$\mathcal{L}=-\frac{1}{2}(\partial_{\mu}S)(\partial^{\mu}S)-\...
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1answer
72 views

A few questions about spinors and gamma matrices

I am following BUSSTEPP Lectures on Supersymmetry and trying to show that the Wess-Zumino action is invariant under SUSY transformations. I encountered the following questions about spinors and gamma ...
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A Naive Question about SUSY Variation

I am following BUSSTEPP Lectures on Supersymmetry to learn supersymmetry. My simple question is the following. My Lagrangian for the Wess-Zumino model in $4D$ is $$\mathcal{L}=-\frac{1}{2}(\...
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1answer
162 views

Different definitions of the parity transformation for the Dirac spinors

There are two definitions of the parity transformation acting on the Dirac spinors: $\Psi_P = \eta \gamma^0 \Psi$ with $\eta = i$ ($P^2=-1$ as in Srednicki) and $\eta=1$ ($P^2=+1$ as in Peskin & ...
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1answer
172 views

Do the eigenstates of the Pauli operators correspond to the six directions of the 3D world?

I understand that the six eigenstates of the three Pauli operators $X, Y, Z$ correspond to the six poles of the Bloch sphere. By fixing an orthonormal basis of our physical word, does "measuring Pauli ...
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1answer
36 views

Transpose of fermion bilinears

TL;DR When we take the transpose of two Grassmann-valued spinors (fermions), should we add a minus sign because we end up anticommutating the two spinors? More details. I'm studying the behavior of ...
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0answers
50 views

What does it mean to define a spin-structure on a manifold? [closed]

I'm trying to think about what information I need to add to a manifold that it describes a spin structure? I know you can have spin-structure on a 2d plane, a 2-sphere. I also know you can define a ...
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1answer
71 views

What is difference between fermions and spins?

A spin model i.e. $H_s = \sum_i^{L-1} S_i^x\cdot S_{i+1}^x$ can be written in matrix form as following $$H_s = \big(S_1^x \otimes S_2^x \otimes I_3^2 \otimes I_4^2\otimes \cdots\otimes I_{L-1}^2\big)...
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1answer
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expanding a Dirac spinor in Weyl basis

For a massless electron Dirac spinor in Weyl basis (where $\chi$ is the left-handed spinor and $\eta$ is the right-handed spinor): \begin{equation} \begin{pmatrix} \chi \\ \eta \end{pmatrix} \end{...
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2answers
273 views

Diffeomorphisms and the Dirac action

I have a question concerning fermions in curved space-time. Please read it to the end before suggesting the spin-connection and vierbein-based approach. I heard that there is a special way of ...
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0answers
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Intuitively understanding complex projective space or twistor space

I'm studying momentum twistor variables, which I understand can be seen to be defined projectively from dual complexified Minkowski space to this complex projective space $\mathbb{C}\mathbb{P}^3$. ...
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0answers
55 views

Are there supersymmetry algebras with higher spinor representations?

The super-Poincare algebra contains supersymmetry generators $Q^I$ which satisfy fermionic anticommutation relations. By the higher-dimensional analogue of the spin-statistics theorem, they must ...
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Question about Spinors and Probability Densities

So I was toying around attempting to simulate some relativistic wave equations for a recreational project. Now I have never studied spinors in dept and the knowledge I have is from reading online (...
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1answer
202 views

Link between the Grassmann algebra and spinors

What is the exact link between spinors and the Grassmann algebra? I'm pretty sure there's one, based on the following: The Berezin integral in path integrals is done over the Grassmann algebra of $\...
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1answer
58 views

Dirac matrices in 1+1 dimensions

Given $\gamma^\mu$ in 1+3 dimensions with signature $(+,-,-,-)$, how can I obtain Dirac matrices in 1+1 dimensions expressed in terms of the $\gamma^\mu$?
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2answers
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Do I need Gamma matrices in Majorana representation in the Lagrangian of a Majorana fermion?

I understand that the Majorana representation of the Gamma matrices are the real representations of the associated Clifford algebra. A Majorana fermion is defined as a fermion that equals to its ...
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1answer
224 views

Identities of Pauli matrices in two-component spinor formalism

I'm reading the review by H. K. Dreiner, H. E. Haber and S. P. Martin (arXiv:0812.1594) about the two-component spinor formalism. There are some identities and notational conventions which lead to ...
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1answer
2k views

Antiparticles, charge conjugation and chirality

(Why/how) are antiparticles and charge-conjugates different things? I am trying to understand the effect of discrete symmetries on spinor fields (neutrinos in particular). In the article, Dirac, ...
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1answer
210 views

Majorana mass term

I see somewhere that we can add a Majorana mass term, $m\psi^Ti\sigma^2\psi+h.c.$, to a Weyl fermion Lagrangian, where $\psi$ is a two-component spinor. However, it seems that this term simply ...
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1answer
221 views

How does canonical quantization work with Grassmann variables?

Every quantum field theory textbook I've encountered seems to have the same logical oversight, because of the particular order they cover topics. First, the books introduce the Dirac Lagrangian, $$\...
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2answers
1k views

Fierz identity with Weyl spinors

The following Fierz relation does not seem so obvious to me: \begin{equation} \bar{\psi}_1 \gamma^\mu (1+\gamma_5)\psi_2 \bar{\psi}_3 \gamma_\mu (1-\gamma_5) \psi_4 = -2 \bar{\psi}_1 (1-\gamma_5) \...
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3answers
317 views

Meaning of the vector expectation value $\langle \mathbf{S} \rangle $

The Cartesian components of the spin operators $S_x, S_y$ and $S_z$ don't commute $[S_i,S_j] \neq 0 \ (i \neq j)$. Hence we can't simultaneously determine all Cartesian components of the spin ...
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1answer
40 views

Peskin and Schroeder: derivation of Dirac fields commutator

I'm perplexed by the following non numbered equation at page 54 of Peskin & Schroeder, right between $(3.92)$ and $(3.93)$ $$ [\psi_a(x),\overline{\psi}_b(x)]=\int\frac{d^3p}{(2\pi)^3}\frac{1}{...
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4answers
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What precisely is a *classical* spin-1/2 particle?

I was recently having a Twitter conversation with a UC Riverside Prof. John Carlos Baez about Geometric Quantization, and he said (about his work) that "Right. For example, you can get the ...
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1answer
40 views

How to build an antisymmetric selfdual tensor out of two 4-vectors?

In problem C of section 1.4 of Ramon's Field Theory: A Modern Primer, we are asked to build a field bilinear in $\chi_L$ and $\psi_L$, two left-handed weyl spinors, which transforms as the (1,0) ...
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1answer
355 views

Schwartz's book: Spinor-helicity formalism

I'm trying to learn the spinor-helicity formalism from Schwartz's QFT book. His equation 27.44 is describes the annihilation of an electron(1)-positron(2) pair to a muon(3)-antimuon(4) pair. He ...
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1answer
60 views

Do we need really need tetrads? OR: Does the No-Go theorem for spinors in curved space only apply to a linear connection?

When I first learned General Relativity, the tetrad formalism was introduced with near simultaneity. I was immediately taught that, to utilize spinors in any way, I had to formulate a local ...
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1answer
237 views

$(A,B)$-Representation of Lorentz Group: Coefficient functions of fields

I have a question regarding the construction of general causal fields in Weinberg's book on quantum field theory. In his conventions a field that transforms according to the irreducible $(A,B)$ ...
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1answer
48 views

Does the external leg contraction of gluon in QCD carry group generator index?

While I am trying to compute the amplitude for the following Feynman diagram I realized that the external leg contraction of $g$ should carry group generator index $A$ or $B$, is that right? If so, ...
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2answers
373 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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0answers
56 views

Motivating the Unintuitive Properties of Spinors

In the usual treatment of (Dirac) spinors, one usually starts with "factoring" the energy-momentum relation, deducing the properties of the $\gamma$ matrices by requiring the cross terms to cancel, ...
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0answers
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Would Left and Right Weyl spinor components mix to become massive in an expanding space?

Sorry, this might be a dumb question. I was just reading a very old paper by Schrodinger where he's talking about different frequency modes mixing in an expanding universe. Basically he says if the ...
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1answer
586 views

Orthogonality relations for spinors of plane wave solution

I was looking for an explanation that doesn't depend on the representation of the gamma matrices that shows that the orthogonality relations are fulfilled. Let me situate my problem: So the Dirac ...
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0answers
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What is the Newman-Penrose (NP) form of Rarita-Schwinger (RS) equation?

Does anyone knows how to write down the Rarita-Schwinger equation in Newman-Penrose formalism?
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Equivalence between Dirac and Majorana action in CFT

In Mussardo's Statistical field theory Chapter 12, section 12.3 about the conformal field theory of a free fermion field he talks about the complex fermion field (Dirac field) $$ \Psi(z,\bar{z}) = \...
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1answer
157 views

Commute covariant derivatives of spinors

Consider a spinor field $\psi$ on a general smooth Lorentzian manifold. Let $\Sigma_{ab}$ be a matrix representation of the Lorentz group, and let Greek/Latin letters represent world/Lorentz indices. ...
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1answer
56 views

Majorana fermions

If you write the Majorana spinors as $$\chi = \begin{pmatrix}\psi_L\\ i\sigma_2\psi_L^* \end{pmatrix} \tag1$$ It satisfies the Dirac equation that leads you to the Majorana equation $$i\bar{\sigma}^\...
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1answer
100 views

Could there be a pseudovector kinetic term for fermions?

Could there be a kinetic term of the form $\bar{\Psi} \gamma_5 \gamma^\mu \partial_\mu \Psi $ in addition to the usual one? Or is this forbidden by a symmetry?
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1answer
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Meaning of the subscripts $L,R$ for the two component Weyl spinors $\phi_{L,R}$

For a Dirac spinor $\psi$, its chiral projections are $\psi_{L,R}$ are defined as $$\psi_{R,L}=\frac{1}{2}(1\mp\gamma^5)\psi.\tag{1}$$ Acting with the chirality operator $\gamma^5$, we find $$\gamma^5\...
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1answer
50 views

Calculating the expectation value of a spin operator in a uniform magnetic field

I'm trying Usually for these types of questions, I'm used to the field being in a specific direction. For example, if the field was in the z direction, I could find this solution by checking |< ...
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3answers
288 views

How are the spinor indices different from the spacetime or Lorentz indices?

A spinor $\zeta$ transforms under $SU(2)$ transformation as $$\zeta^\prime_a=U_{ab}\zeta_b.$$ Why are the spinor indices kept different from the spacetime indices $\mu,\nu$? After all the $SU(2)$ we ...
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1answer
86 views

Lorentz invariance from Dirac spinor

I have a really naive question that I didn't manage to explain to myself. If I consider SUSY theory without R-parity conservation there exist an operator that mediates proton decay. This operator is $...
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3answers
364 views

Is spinor the sum of scalar, vector, bi-vector, pseudo-vector, and pseudo-scalar?

Is spinor $\psi$ actually the sum of scalar, vector, bi-vector, ..., pseudo-scalar? Before talking about spinors, we have to differentiate two kinds of spacetime, demonstrated with the example of ...
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2answers
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“Dark Matter” vs. “Dark Spin”

I am rephrasing an answer to another PSE question as an new question here. Dark matter is invoked to explain the 'observed space-time geometry that does not match with predictions'. According to the ...