Sound relativistic quantum mechanics for a strictly solitary nonzero-mass particle, and its quantum-field reverberations

Research paper by Steven Kenneth Kauffmann

Indexed on: 22 Sep '09Published on: 22 Sep '09Published in: Physics - General Physics


It is generally acknowledged that neither the Klein-Gordon equation nor the Dirac Hamiltonian can produce sound solitary-particle relativistic quantum mechanics due to the ill effects of their negative-energy solutions; instead their field-quantized wavefunctions are reinterpreted as dealing with particle and antiparticle simultaneously--despite the clear physical distinguishability of antiparticle from particle and the empirically known slight breaking of the underlying CP invariance. The natural square-root Hamiltonian of the free relativistic solitary particle is iterated to obtain the Klein-Gordon equation and linearized to obtain the Dirac Hamiltonian, steps that have calculational but not physical motivation, and which generate the above-mentioned problematic negative-energy solutions as extraneous artifacts. Since the natural square root Hamiltonian for the free relativistic solitary particle contrariwise produces physically unexceptionable quantum mechanics, this article focuses on extending that Hamiltonian to describe a solitary particle (of either spin 0 or spin one-half) in relativistic interaction with an external electromagnetic field. That is achieved by use of Lorentz-covariant solitary-particle four momentum techniques together with the assumption that well-known nonrelativistic dynamics applies in the particle's rest frame. Lorentz-invariant solitary particle actions, whose formal Hamiltonization is an equivalent alternative approach, are as well explicitly displayed. It is proposed that two separate solitary-particle wavefunctions, one for a particle and the other for its antiparticle, be independently quantized in lieu of "reinterpreting" negative energy solutions--which indeed don't even afflict proper solitary particles.