Department of Physics
April 21, 2004
Willet Science Center 101
Matter a Form of Light?
In their standard relativistic descriptions, electromagnetic waves and the
primary matter waves appear irreconcilably different. Foremost among these differences are the Lorentz transformation properties of their respective
field equations: covariance of the Maxwell equations traditionally requires a spin-1 Maxwell field while the primary matter fields are spin 1/2. However, in
a newly published result, we have seen that the Maxwell equations are in fact covariant under
both spin-1 and spin-1/2 Lorentz transformations. The spin-1 case has been known since Lorentz and Einstein,
but led by researchers here at Mercer the spin-1/2 case is only now being explored. The resulting spin-1/2 Maxwell field shares a significant set of
invariants with its spin-1 counterpart, although charge invariance, gauge invariance, and a covariant Lorentz force are lost in the spin-1/2 case. We
will discuss the spin-1/2 Maxwell field, its implications for relativistic field theory, and the possible unification of electromagnetic and spin-1/2
Spin-1/2 Maxwell Fields and the Unification
of Electromagnetic and Matter Waves"
join us for light refreshments outside WSC 109 at 4:15.
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