- TL;DR Summary
- A survey of attempts to connect the octonions to the Standard Model - mainly explaining the math and having fun, not advocating any particular theory.
I've slowly been writing a thread on octonions and particle physics, just to explain some facts in a self-contained way, with all the proofs. I don't know where this will lead. I'm certainly not presenting a theory of physics, much less advocating one. Mainly it's just fun.
- Octonions and the Standard Model 1. How to define octonion multiplication using complex scalars and vectors, much as quaternion multiplication can be defined using real scalars and vectors. This description requires singling out a specific unit imaginary octonion, and it shows that octonion multiplication is invariant under SU(3).
- Octonions and the Standard Model 2. A more polished way to think about octonion multiplication in terms of complex scalars and vectors, and a similar-looking way to describe it using the cross product in 7 dimensions.
- Octonions and the Standard Model 3. How a lepton and a quark fit together into an octonion - at least if we only consider them as representations of SU(3), the gauge group of the strong force. Proof that the symmetries of the octonions fixing an imaginary octonion form precisely the group SU(3).
- Octonions and the Standard Model 4. Introducing the exceptional Jordan algebra: the 3×3 self-adjoint octonionic matrices. A result of Dubois-Violette and Todorov: the symmetries of the exceptional Jordan algebra preserving their splitting into complex scalar and vector parts and preserving a copy of the 2×2 adjoint octonionic matrices form precisely the Standard Model gauge group.
- Octonions and the Standard Model 5. How to think of the 2×2 self-adjoint octonionic matrices as 10-dimensional Minkowski space, and pairs of octonions as left- or right-handed Majorana-Weyl spinors in 10 dimensional spacetime.