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Concept# Dirac fermion

Summary

In physics, a Dirac fermion is a spin-1⁄2 particle (a fermion) which is different from its antiparticle. A vast majority of fermions fall under this category.
In particle physics, all fermions in the standard model have distinct antiparticles (perhaps excepting neutrinos) and hence are Dirac fermions. They are named after Paul Dirac, and can be modeled with the Dirac equation.
A Dirac fermion is equivalent to two Weyl fermions. The counterpart to a Dirac fermion is a Majorana fermion, a particle that must be its own antiparticle.
In condensed matter physics, low-energy excitations in graphene and topological insulators, among others, are fermionic quasiparticles described by a pseudo-relativistic Dirac equation.

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Related courses (9)

Related people (12)

Related lectures (36)

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Ontological neighbourhood

Related publications (35)

Related concepts (13)

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Weyl equation

In physics, particularly in quantum field theory, the Weyl equation is a relativistic wave equation for describing massless spin-1/2 particles called Weyl fermions. The equation is named after Hermann Weyl. The Weyl fermions are one of the three possible types of elementary fermions, the other two being the Dirac and the Majorana fermions. None of the elementary particles in the Standard Model are Weyl fermions. Previous to the confirmation of the neutrino oscillations, it was considered possible that the neutrino might be a Weyl fermion (it is now expected to be either a Dirac or a Majorana fermion).

Majorana fermion

A Majorana fermion (maɪə'rɑːnə), also referred to as a Majorana particle, is a fermion that is its own antiparticle. They were hypothesised by Ettore Majorana in 1937. The term is sometimes used in opposition to a Dirac fermion, which describes fermions that are not their own antiparticles. With the exception of neutrinos, all of the Standard Model fermions are known to behave as Dirac fermions at low energy (lower than the electroweak symmetry breaking temperature), and none are Majorana fermions.

Electron neutrino

The electron neutrino (_Electron neutrino) is an elementary particle which has zero electric charge and a spin of . Together with the electron, it forms the first generation of leptons, hence the name electron neutrino. It was first hypothesized by Wolfgang Pauli in 1930, to account for missing momentum and missing energy in beta decay, and was discovered in 1956 by a team led by Clyde Cowan and Frederick Reines (see Cowan–Reines neutrino experiment).

Nicola Marzari, Davide Campi, Davide Grassano

Topological Weyl semimetals represent a novel class of nontrivial materials, where band crossings with linear dispersions take place at generic momenta across reciprocal space. These crossings give rise to low -energy properties akin to those of Weyl fermi ...

Philip Johannes Walter Moll, Chunyu Guo, Hao Yang

Diode effects are of great interest for both fundamental physics and modern technologies. Electrical diode effects (nonreciprocal transport) have been observed in Weyl systems. Optical diode effects arising from the Weyl fermions have been theoretically co ...

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We report neutron scattering measurements on YbMnSb2 which shed light on the nature of the magnetic moments and their interaction with Dirac fermions. Using half-polarized neutron diffraction we measured the field-induced magnetization distribution in the ...