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A Conserved Parity Operator

Mark J. Hadley, Dept of Phys., Univ. of Warwick,

Abstract:The symmetry of Nature under a Space Inversion is described by a Parity operator. Contrary to popular belief, the Parity operator is not unique. The choice of the Parity operator requires several arbitrary decisions to be made. It is shown that alternative, equally plausible, choices leads to the definition of a Parity operator that is conserved by the Weak Interactions. The operator commonly known as CP is a more appropriate choice for a Parity operator.

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Maxwell’s equations have an Electric Field, E, and a Magnetic field, B. A simple mathematical representation would be to treat them both as vectors. Both E and B would then change sign under a parity operation. Maxwell’s equation would not be invariant under this parity operation.

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Electrodynamics would be inherently lefthanded. A symmetrical experimental arrangement such as an electron beam moving forward in the x-direction and a magnetic field pointing in the z-direction would result in electrons moving to the left. The mirror image would be contrary to experimental observations.

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Without a deeper model of the elementary particles and their quantum numbers, the assignment of their transformation properties is only a matter of aesthetics. However the motivation for this analysis came from just such models. The author is working on geometric models of elementary particles and quantum theory using classical general relativity [6, 7]. Some exciting results have been achieved (see for example [8]), but a clear prediction of such models is that parity is conserved. ...

http://arxiv.org/abs/physics/0406118

Carl

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# Hadley article on parity: physics/0406118

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