This post is a synopsis of the material from the second last lecture of QFT I. I missed that class, but worked from notes kindly provided by Emily Tyhurst, and Stefan Divic, filling in enough details that it made sense to me.

[Click here for an unabrided PDF of my full notes on this day’s lecture material.]

Topics covered include

  • The Hamiltonian action on single particle states showed that the Hamiltonian was an energy eigenoperator
    H \ket{\Bp, r}
    \omega_\Bp \ket{\Bp, r}.
  • The conserved Noether current and charge for spatial translations, the momentum operator, was found to be
    \BP =
    \int d^3 x
    \Psi^\dagger (-i \spacegrad) \Psi,
    which could be written in creation and anhillation operator form as
    \BP = \sum_{s = 1}^2
    \int \frac{d^3 q}{(2\pi)^3} \Bp \lr{
    Single particle states were found to be the eigenvectors of this operator, with momentum eigenvalues
    \BP a_\Bq^{s\dagger} \ket{0} = \Bq (a_\Bq^{s\dagger} \ket{0}).
  • The conserved Noether current and charge for a rotation was found. That charge is
    \BJ = \int d^3 x \Psi^\dagger(x) \lr{ \underbrace{\Bx \cross (-i \spacegrad)}_{\text{orbital angular momentum}} + \inv{2} \underbrace{\mathbf{1} \otimes \Bsigma}_{\text{spin angular momentum}} } \Psi,
    \mathbf{1} \otimes \Bsigma =
    \Bsigma & 0 \\
    0 & \Bsigma
    which has distinct orbital and spin angular momentum components. Unlike NRQM, we see both types of angular momentum as components of a single operator. It is argued in [3] that for a particle at rest the single particle state is an eigenvector of this operator, with eigenvalues \( \pm 1/2 \) — the Fermion spin eigenvalues!
  • We examined two \( U(1) \) global symmetries. The Noether charge for the “vector” \( U(1) \) symmetry is
    \int \frac{d^3 q}{(2\pi)^3} \sum_{s = 1}^2
    a_\Bp^{s \dagger} a_\Bp^s

    b_\Bp^{s \dagger}
    This charge operator characterizes the \( a, b \) operators. \( a \) particles have charge \( +1 \), and \( b \) particles have charge \( -1 \), or vice-versa depending on convention. We call \( a \) the operator for the electron, and \( b \) the operator for the positron.
  • CPT (Charge-Parity-TimeReversal) symmetries were also mentioned, but not covered in class. We were pointed to [2], [3], [4] to start studying that topic.


[1] C. Doran and A.N. Lasenby. Geometric algebra for physicists. Cambridge University Press New York, Cambridge, UK, 1st edition, 2003.

[2] Dr. Michael Luke. Quantum Field Theory., 2011. URL luke/PHY2403F/References_files/lecturenotes.pdf. [Online; accessed 05-Dec-2018].

[3] Michael E Peskin and Daniel V Schroeder. An introduction to Quantum Field Theory. Westview, 1995.

[4] Dr. David Tong. Quantum Field Theory. URL