Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/2440/124282
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Type: Journal article
Title: Foldy-Wouthuysen transformation of the generalized Dirac Hamiltonian in a gravitational-wave background
Author: Quach, J.Q.
Citation: Physical Review D, 2015; 92(8):084047-1-084047-5
Publisher: American Physical Society
Issue Date: 2015
ISSN: 1550-7998
1550-2368
Statement of
Responsibility: 
James Q. Quach
Abstract: Goncalves et al. [Phys. Rev. D 75, 124023 (2007)] derived a nonrelativistic limit of the generalized Dirac Hamiltonian in the presence of a gravitational wave, using the exact Foldy-Wouthuysen transformation. This gave rise to the intriguing notion that spin precession may occur even in the absence of a magnetic field. We argue that this effect is not physical as it is the result of a gauge-variant term that was an artifact of a flawed application of the exact Foldy-Wouthuysen transformation. In this paper we derive the correct nonrelativistic limit of the generalized Dirac Hamiltonian in the presence of a gravitational wave, using both the exact and standard Foldy-Wouthuysen transformation. We show that both transformations consistently produce a Hamiltonian where all terms are gauge invariant. Unfortunately however, we also show that this means the novel spin-precession effect does not exist.
Description: Published 21 October 2015
Rights: © 2015 American Physical Society
RMID: 0030098838
DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevD.92.084047
Appears in Collections:Physics publications

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