The zig-zag road to reality
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In the standard model of particle physics, all fermions are fundamentally massless and only acquire their effective bare mass when the Higgs field condenses. Therefore, in a fundamental de Broglie-Bohm pilot-wave quantum field theory (valid before and after the Higgs condensation), position beables should be attributed to massless fermions. In our endeavour to build a pilot-wave theory of massless fermions, which would be relevant for the study of quantum non-equilibrium in the early universe, we are naturally led to Weyl spinors and to particle trajectories which give meaning to the 'zig-zag' picture of the electron discussed recently by Penrose. We show that a positive-energy massive Dirac electron of given helicity can be thought of as a superposition of positive and negative energy Weyl particles of the same helicity and that a single massive Dirac electron can in principle move luminally at all times. This is however not true for the many body situation required by quantum field theory and we conclude that a more natural theory arises from attributing beable status to the positions of massless Dirac particles instead of to Weyl particles.
Journal of Physics A: Mathematical and Theoretical
© 2011 Institute of Physics Publishing. This is the author-manuscript version of this paper. Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher.Please refer to the journal's website for access to the definitive, published version.
Field Theory and String Theory
Quantum Physics not elsewhere classified