Structure and Applications of Point Form Relativistic Quantum Mechanics

  • W. H. Klink
Part of the Few-Body Systems book series (FEWBODY, volume 14)


The framework of point form relativistic quantum mechanics is used to construct mass and current operators for hadronic systems with finite degree of freedom. For the point form all of the interactions are in the four-momentum operator and, since Lorentz transformations are kinematic, the theory is manifestly covariant.

In the Bakamjian-Thomas version of the point form the four-momentum operator is written as a product of the four-velocity operator and mass operator, where the mass operator is the sum of free and interacting mass operators. Interacting mass operators can be constructed from vertices, matrix elements of local field operators evaluated at the space-time point zero, where the states are eigenstates of the four-velocity. Applications include the study of the spectra and widths of vector mesons, viewed as bound states of quark-antiquark pairs.

Besides mass operators, current operators are needed to compute form factors. Form factors are matrix elements of current operators on mass operator eigenstates and are often calculated with one-body current operators (in the point form this is called the point form spectator approximation); but in a properly relativistic theory there must also be many-body current operators. Minimal currents needed to satisfy current conservation in the presence of hadronic interactions (called dynamically determined currents) are shown to be easily calculated in the point form.


Form Factor Lorentz Transformation Current Operator Point Form Mass Operator 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag/Wien 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • W. H. Klink
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Physics and AstronomyUniversity of IowaIowa CityUSA

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