Spin and localization of relativistic fermions and uncertainty relations

Lucas C. Céleri, Vasilis Kiosses, Daniel R. Terno

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21 Citations (Scopus)
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We discuss relations between several relativistic spin observables and derive a Lorentz-invariant characteristic of a reduced spin density matrix. A relativistic position operator that satisfies all the properties of its nonrelativistic analog does not exist. Instead we propose two causality-preserving positive operator-valued measures (POVMs) that are based on projections onto one-particle and antiparticle spaces, and on the normalized energy density. They predict identical expectation values for position. The variances differ by less than a quarter of the squared de Broglie wavelength and coincide in the nonrelativistic limit. Since the resulting statistical moment operators are not canonical conjugates of momentum, the Heisenberg uncertainty relations need not hold. Indeed, the energy density POVM leads to a lower uncertainty. We reformulate the standard equations of the spin dynamics by explicitly considering the charge-independent acceleration, allowing a consistent treatment of backreaction and inclusion of a weak gravitational field.

Original languageEnglish
Article number062115
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
JournalPhysical Review A - Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 19 Dec 2016

Bibliographical note

Céleri, Lucas C.; Kiosses, Vasilis and Terno, Daniel R. (2016). Spin and localization of relativistic fermions and uncertainty relations. Physical review A, 94(6), 062115. Copyright (2016) by the American Physical Society. The original article can be found at http://dx.doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevA.94.062115.


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