Communications in Mathematical Physics

, Volume 86, Issue 1, pp 69–86 | Cite as

The general relativistic hydrogen atom

  • Jeffrey M. Cohen
  • Robert T. Powers


The general relativistic Dirac equation is formulated in an arbitrary curved space-time using differential forms. These equations are applied to spherically symmetric systems with arbitrary charge and mass. For the case of a black hole (with event horizon) it is shown that the Dirac Hamiltonian is self-adjoint, has essential spectrum the whole real line and no bound states. Although rigorous results are obtained only for a spherically symmetric system, it is argued that, in the presence of any event horizon there will be no bound states. The case of a naked singularity is investigated with the results that the Dirac Hamiltonian is not self-adjoint. The self-adjoint extensions preserving angular momentum are studied and their spectrum is found to consist of an essential spectrum corresponding to that of a free electron plus eigenvalues in the gap (−mc2, +mc2). It is shown that, for certain boundary conditions, neutrino bound states exist.


Black Hole Hydrogen Atom Angular Momentum Free Electron Real Line 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1982

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jeffrey M. Cohen
    • 1
  • Robert T. Powers
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of PhysicsUniversity of PennsylvaniaPhiladelphiaUSA
  2. 2.Mathematics DepartmentUniversity of PennsylvaniaPhiladelphiaUSA

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