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Why is it interesting?


Positive and negative chirality fermions are often described as being right-handed or left-handed, respectively;if one shines a beam of positive chirality fermions (particles described math-matically as sections of S+) into a block of matter, it will begin to spin in a right-handed sense." from Geometry and Physics by E. Witten


Chirality arises as a quantum number related to the Lorentz group. Form the representation theory of the Lorentz group, we know that the corresponding Lie algebra, can be interpreted as two copies of the $SU(2)$ Lie algebra $\mathfrak{su}(2)$. Therefore, we labelled each representation by two numbers: $j_L$ and $j_R$ which indicate which $\mathfrak{su}(2)$ representations are used to construct the Lorentz algebra representations. For example, the label $(\frac{1}{2},0)$ means that we used to fundamental representation for one $\mathfrak{su}(2)$ and the trivial, one-dimensional representation for the other $\mathfrak{su}(2)$.

A quantum field (or particle) that transforms according to the $(\frac{1}{2},0)$ representation is called left-chiral, and a quantum field (or particle) that transforms according to the $(0,\frac{1}{2})$ representation is called right-chiral.


The motto in this section is: the higher the level of abstraction, the better.
Does the opposite chirality only emerge dynamically?

"because fundamentally all fermion particles are left-handed and all fermion antiparticles are right-handed, with the opposite handedness emerging dynamically for massive fermions. Such dynamical emergence of handed-ness is described by L. B. Okun, in his book Leptons and Quarks (North-Holland (2nd printing 1984) page 11) where he said: “… a particle with spin in the direction opposite to that of its momentum …[is]… said to possess left-handed helicity, or left-handed polarization. A particle is said to possess right-handed helicity, or polarization, if its spin is directed along its momentum. The concept of helicity is not Lorentz invariant if the particle mass is non-zero. The helicity of such a particle depends oupon the motion of the observer’s frame of reference. For example, it will change sign if we try to catch up with the particle at a speed above its velocity. Overtaking a particle is the more difficult, the higher its velocity, so that helicity becomes a better quantum number as velocity increases. It is an exact quantum number for massless particles … The above space-time structure … means … that at …[ v approaching the speed of light ]… particles have only left-handed helicity, and antparticles only right-handed helicity." On the chirality of the SM and the fermion content of GUTs by Renato M. Fonseca

Common Question 2




advanced_notions/chirality.1508748616.txt.gz · Last modified: 2017/12/04 08:01 (external edit)