The zig-zag road to reality

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Title The zig-zag road to reality
Author Colin, Samuel; Wiseman, Howard Mark
Journal Name Journal of Physics A: Mathematical and Theoretical
Year Published 2011
Place of publication United Kingdom
Publisher Institute of Physics Publishing Ltd.
Abstract In the standard model of particle physics, all fermions are fundamentally massless and only acquire their effective bare mass when the Higgs field condenses. Therefore, in a fundamental de Broglie–Bohm pilot-wave quantum field theory (valid before and after the Higgs condensation), position beables should be attributed to massless fermions. In our endeavour to build a pilot-wave theory of massless fermions, which would be relevant for the study of quantum non-equilibrium in the early universe, we are naturally led to Weyl spinors and to particle trajectories which give meaning to the 'zig-zag' picture of the electron discussed recently by Penrose. We show that a positive-energy massive Dirac electron of given helicity can be thought of as a superposition of positive and negative energy Weyl particles of the same helicity and that a single massive Dirac electron can in principle move luminally at all times. This is however not true for the many body situation required by quantum field theory and we conclude that a more natural theory arises from attributing beable status to the positions of massless Dirac particles instead of to Weyl particles.
Peer Reviewed Yes
Published Yes
Alternative URI http://dx.doi.org/10.1088/1751-8113/44/34/345304
Copyright Statement Copyright 2011 Institute of Physics Publishing. This is the author-manuscript version of this paper. Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher.Please refer to the journal's website for access to the definitive, published version.
Volume 44
Issue Number 34
Page from 345304 -1
Page to 345304 - 19
ISSN 1751-8113
Date Accessioned 2011-08-22
Language en_US
Research Centre Centre for Quantum Dynamics
Faculty Faculty of Science, Environment, Engineering and Technology
Subject Field Theory and String Theory; Quantum Physics
URI http://hdl.handle.net/10072/42701
Publication Type Journal Articles (Refereed Article)
Publication Type Code c1

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