The Dirac equation for dummies

or theory of elasticity for the seriously advanced

Dmitri Vassiliev (UCL)

The talk deals with two seemingly unrelated subjects.

a) The Dirac equation which is an accepted mathematical model for spin 1/2 particles such as the neutrino and the electron.

b) Cosserat elasticity, a generalisation of classical elasticity in which points of the elastic continuum are given rotational degrees of freedom.

The aim of the talk is to show that the Dirac equation is a special case of Cosserat elasticity, namely, that the Dirac equation describes an elastic continuum with no displacements, only rotations. This idea is not new: it lies at the heart of the theory of teleparallelism (= absolute parallelism = fernparallelismus) promoted by Einstein and Cartan in the end of the 1920s and rejected by the mainstream theoretical physics community. The new element is the choice of Lagrangian [1], one which is conformally invariant.

1. J. Burnett, O. Chervova and D. Vassiliev, Dirac equation as a special case of Cosserat elasticity, arXiv:0812.3948.