A Two-Component Alternative to Dirac’s Equation

  • L. C. Biedenharn
Conference paper
Part of the Acta Physica Austriaca book series (FEWBODY, volume 9/1972)


1.) The question as to why the Dirac equation has four and not two components is a very old one, and despite continuing interest, there is something of a consensus on the answer: four components are required to have a sharp parity. If one were willing to accept only CP sharp, the current standard view (as expressed by Weinberg [1]) is that one may indeed have a two component system, but then there exists no first order linear differential equation.


Dirac Equation Division Algebra Electromagnetic Interaction Massive Charged Lepton Mixed Parity 
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  1. 1.
    S. Weinberg, Phys. Rev. 133, B1318–1332 (1964). See page B1319, item (1).Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    L. C. Biedenharn, M. Han and H.van Dam,Phys. Rev. Lett. 27, 1167–1170 (1971).ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Ibid., submitted to Physical Review.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    P. A. M. Dirac, Proc. Roy. Soc. A117, 610 (1928). See page 613.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    J. Sucher, J. Math. Phys. 4, 17–23 (1963).MathSciNetADSMATHCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Wien 1972

Authors and Affiliations

  • L. C. Biedenharn
    • 1
  1. 1.Institut für Theoretische PhysikUniversität KarlsruheGermany

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