TY - JOUR

T1 - Particles vs. events

T2 - The concatenated structure of world lines in relativistic quantum mechanics

AU - Arshansky, R.

AU - Horwitz, L. P.

AU - Lavie, Y.

PY - 1983/12

Y1 - 1983/12

N2 - The dynamical equations of relativistic quantum mechanics prescribe the motion of wave packets for sets of events which trace out the world lines of the interacting particles. Electromagnetic theory suggests that particle world line densities be constructed from concatenation of event wave packets. These sequences are realized in terms of conserved probability currents. We show that these conserved currents provide a consistent particle and antiparticle interpretation for the asymptotic states in scattering processes. The relation between current conservation and unitarity is used to establish relations between pair production and annihilation amplitudes and scattering. The discrete symmetries C, T, P are studied and it is shown that no Dirac sea (for fermions where such a construction is possible, or bosons where it is not) is required for consistency of the theory. These currents, furthermore, represent the discrete symmetries in a way consistent with their interpretation as particle currents.

AB - The dynamical equations of relativistic quantum mechanics prescribe the motion of wave packets for sets of events which trace out the world lines of the interacting particles. Electromagnetic theory suggests that particle world line densities be constructed from concatenation of event wave packets. These sequences are realized in terms of conserved probability currents. We show that these conserved currents provide a consistent particle and antiparticle interpretation for the asymptotic states in scattering processes. The relation between current conservation and unitarity is used to establish relations between pair production and annihilation amplitudes and scattering. The discrete symmetries C, T, P are studied and it is shown that no Dirac sea (for fermions where such a construction is possible, or bosons where it is not) is required for consistency of the theory. These currents, furthermore, represent the discrete symmetries in a way consistent with their interpretation as particle currents.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=0041867735&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1007/bf00727992

DO - 10.1007/bf00727992

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AN - SCOPUS:0041867735

SN - 0015-9018

VL - 13

SP - 1167

EP - 1194

JO - Foundations of Physics

JF - Foundations of Physics

IS - 12

ER -