Quantum Physics


Equivalence of Maxwell's Source-Free Equations to the Time-Dependent Schrödinger Equation for a Solitary Particle with Two Polarizations and Hamiltonian |cp|

Authors: Steven Kenneth Kauffmann

It was pointed out in a previous paper that although neither the Klein-Gordon equation nor the Dirac Hamiltonian produces sound solitary free-particle relativistic quantum mechanics, the natural square-root relativistic Hamiltonian for a nonzero-mass free particle does achieve this. Failures of the Klein-Gordon and Dirac theories are reviewed: the solitary Dirac free particle has, inter alia, an invariant speed well in excess of c and staggering spontaneous Compton acceleration, but no pathologies whatsoever arise from the square-root relativistic Hamiltonian. Dirac's key misapprehension of the underlying four-vector character of the time-dependent, configuration-representation Schrödinger equation for a solitary particle is laid bare, as is the invalidity of the standard "proof" that the nonrelativistic limit of the Dirac equation is the Pauli equation. Lorentz boosts from the particle rest frame point uniquely to the square-root Hamiltonian, but these don't exist for a massless particle. Instead, Maxwell's equations are dissected in spatial Fourier transform to separate nondynamical longitudinal from dynamical transverse field degrees of freedom. Upon their decoupling in the absence of sources, the transverse field components are seen to obey two identical time-dependent Schrödinger equations (owing to two linear polarizations), which have the massless freeparticle diagonalized square-root Hamiltonian. Those fields are readily modfied to conform to the attributes of solitary-photon wave functions. The wave functions' relations to the potentials in radiation gauge are also worked out. The exercise is then repeated without the considerable benefit of the spatial Fourier transform.

Comments: 17 pages, Also archived as arXiv:1004.1820 [physics.gen-ph].

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Submission history

[v1] 25 Apr 2010

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