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Title: Hidden geometric character of relativistic quantum mechanics

Abstract

Geometry can be an unsuspected source of equations with physical relevance, as everybody is aware since Einstein formulated the general theory of relativity. However, efforts to extend a similar type of reasoning to other areas of physics, namely, electrodynamics, quantum mechanics, and particle physics, usually had very limited success; particularly in quantum mechanics the standard formalism is such that any possible relation to geometry is impossible to detect; other authors have previously trod the geometric path to quantum mechanics, some of that work being referred to in the text. In this presentation we will follow an alternate route to show that quantum mechanics has indeed a strong geometric character. The paper makes use of geometric algebra, also known as Clifford algebra, in five-dimensional space-time. The choice of this space is given the character of first principle, justified solely by the consequences that can be derived from such choice and their consistency with experimental results. Given a metric space of any dimension, one can define monogenic functions, the natural extension of analytic functions to higher dimensions; such functions have null vector derivative and have previously been shown by other authors to play a decisive role in lower dimensional spaces. All monogenicmore » functions have null Laplacian by consequence; in a hyperbolic space this fact leads inevitably to a wave equation with planelike solutions. This is also true for five-dimensional space-time and we will explore those solutions, establishing a parallel with the solutions of the free particle Dirac equation. For this purpose we will invoke the isomorphism between the complex algebra of 4x4 matrices, also known as Dirac's matrices. There is one problem with this isomorphism, because the solutions to Dirac's equation are usually known as spinors (column matrices) that do not belong to the 4x4 matrix algebra and as such are excluded from the isomorphism. We will show that a solution in terms of Dirac spinors is equivalent to a plane wave solution. Just as one finds in the standard formulation, monogenic functions can be naturally split into positive/negative energy together with left/right ones. This split is provided by geometric projectors and we will show that there is a second set of projectors providing an alternate fourfold split. The possible implications of this alternate split are not yet fully understood and are presently the subject of profound research.« less

Authors:
 [1]
  1. Physics Department, Universidade do Minho, 4710-057 Braga (Portugal)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
20929612
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Journal of Mathematical Physics; Journal Volume: 48; Journal Issue: 1; Other Information: DOI: 10.1063/1.2406055; (c) 2007 American Institute of Physics; Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
71 CLASSICAL AND QUANTUM MECHANICS, GENERAL PHYSICS; ALGEBRA; ANALYTIC FUNCTIONS; CLIFFORD ALGEBRA; DIRAC EQUATION; GEOMETRY; LAPLACIAN; MATHEMATICAL SOLUTIONS; MATRICES; QUANTUM ELECTRODYNAMICS; QUANTUM MECHANICS; RELATIVISTIC RANGE; SPACE-TIME; SPINORS; VECTORS; WAVE PROPAGATION

Citation Formats

Almeida, Jose B. Hidden geometric character of relativistic quantum mechanics. United States: N. p., 2007. Web. doi:10.1063/1.2406055.
Almeida, Jose B. Hidden geometric character of relativistic quantum mechanics. United States. doi:10.1063/1.2406055.
Almeida, Jose B. Mon . "Hidden geometric character of relativistic quantum mechanics". United States. doi:10.1063/1.2406055.
@article{osti_20929612,
title = {Hidden geometric character of relativistic quantum mechanics},
author = {Almeida, Jose B.},
abstractNote = {Geometry can be an unsuspected source of equations with physical relevance, as everybody is aware since Einstein formulated the general theory of relativity. However, efforts to extend a similar type of reasoning to other areas of physics, namely, electrodynamics, quantum mechanics, and particle physics, usually had very limited success; particularly in quantum mechanics the standard formalism is such that any possible relation to geometry is impossible to detect; other authors have previously trod the geometric path to quantum mechanics, some of that work being referred to in the text. In this presentation we will follow an alternate route to show that quantum mechanics has indeed a strong geometric character. The paper makes use of geometric algebra, also known as Clifford algebra, in five-dimensional space-time. The choice of this space is given the character of first principle, justified solely by the consequences that can be derived from such choice and their consistency with experimental results. Given a metric space of any dimension, one can define monogenic functions, the natural extension of analytic functions to higher dimensions; such functions have null vector derivative and have previously been shown by other authors to play a decisive role in lower dimensional spaces. All monogenic functions have null Laplacian by consequence; in a hyperbolic space this fact leads inevitably to a wave equation with planelike solutions. This is also true for five-dimensional space-time and we will explore those solutions, establishing a parallel with the solutions of the free particle Dirac equation. For this purpose we will invoke the isomorphism between the complex algebra of 4x4 matrices, also known as Dirac's matrices. There is one problem with this isomorphism, because the solutions to Dirac's equation are usually known as spinors (column matrices) that do not belong to the 4x4 matrix algebra and as such are excluded from the isomorphism. We will show that a solution in terms of Dirac spinors is equivalent to a plane wave solution. Just as one finds in the standard formulation, monogenic functions can be naturally split into positive/negative energy together with left/right ones. This split is provided by geometric projectors and we will show that there is a second set of projectors providing an alternate fourfold split. The possible implications of this alternate split are not yet fully understood and are presently the subject of profound research.},
doi = {10.1063/1.2406055},
journal = {Journal of Mathematical Physics},
number = 1,
volume = 48,
place = {United States},
year = {Mon Jan 15 00:00:00 EST 2007},
month = {Mon Jan 15 00:00:00 EST 2007}
}