## Solution to the dirac equation and the square root of a matrix?

Hi. I'm currently reading about (negative frequency) solutions to the Dirac equations which can be written on the form

$$\Psi = ( \sqrt{p \cdot \sigma} \chi, \sqrt{p \cdot \bar{\sigma}} \chi)^T e^{-i p \cdot x}$$

For any two component spinor Chi. But the dot product with the four vector p and the sigma vector is a matrix, so here one is taking the square root of a matrix. What do we mean by that? Or am I interpreting this wrong?
 The square root of a matrix A is another matrix B such that BB = A. Note that, as with the square roots of numbers, there is more than one square root of a matrix. Off the top of my head, I think that a general NxN matrix could have up to 2^N distinct square roots. If you can diagonalize A, so that A = M^-1 D M, where D is diagonal, then D lists the eigenvalues of A. Then you can verify that M^-1 sqrt(D) M is a square root of A, where sqrt(D) is a diagonal matrix whose entries are the square roots of the entries of D. So the square root of a matrix A has the same eigenvectors as A, but with eigenvalues that are the square roots of the eigenvalues of A. Are you reading Peskin & Schroeder? I seem to recall that they make a comment to the effect that by convention they take the positive square root. So when they take the square roots of the eigenvalues, they choose positive signs.
 Blog Entries: 1 Recognitions: Science Advisor center o bass, Did you see this expression in Peskin & Schroeder, or somewhere else?

## Solution to the dirac equation and the square root of a matrix?

 Quote by Bill_K center o bass, Did you see this expression in Peskin & Schroeder, or somewhere else?
I saw it in David Tong's lecture notes

http://www.damtp.cam.ac.uk/user/tong/qft/four.pdf