Precession of relativistic particles of arbitrary spin in a slowly varying electromagnetic field

Daniel Zwanziger

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Abstract

    It is shown that, under accelerator or bubble-chamber conditions, the passage of a particle of arbitrary spin through an electromagnetic field effects a Lorentz transformation on its momentum and polarization, and a linear differential equation determining this transformation is given. We also give explicitly the decay-time dependence of the angular distribution that describes the decay of a particle moving in an electromagnetic field, and thereby obtain a method, explained in detail, of measuring the magnetic moment of an unstable, higher spin particle like the Ω-. It is noted that the gyromagnetic ratio g=2 leads to particularly simple equations of motion for all spins, and not only for spin 1/2. In an appendix we use a novel covariant algebraic method to solve the equations of motion and obtain the finite Lorentz transformation, in the case of a constant and homogeneous electromagnetic field. The method involves the introduction of an algebra of 4-by-4 matrices that plays the same role for 4-vectors as the Dirac algebra for 4-spinors.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    JournalPhysical Review
    Volume139
    Issue number5B
    DOIs
    StatePublished - 1965

    Fingerprint

    relativistic particles
    precession
    Lorentz transformations
    electromagnetic fields
    algebra
    equations of motion
    particle spin
    bubble chambers
    decay
    time dependence
    accelerators
    differential equations
    angular distribution
    magnetic moments
    momentum
    polarization
    matrices

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Physics and Astronomy(all)

    Cite this

    Precession of relativistic particles of arbitrary spin in a slowly varying electromagnetic field. / Zwanziger, Daniel.

    In: Physical Review, Vol. 139, No. 5B, 1965.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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