Foundations of Physics

, 40:1 | Cite as

Zitterbewegung in Quantum Mechanics

  • David HestenesEmail author


The possibility that zitterbewegung opens a window to particle substructure in quantum mechanics is explored by constructing a particle model with structural features inherent in the Dirac equation. This paper develops a self-contained dynamical model of the electron as a lightlike particle with helical zitterbewegung and electromagnetic interactions. The model admits periodic solutions with quantized energy, and the correct magnetic moment is generated by charge circulation. It attributes to the electron an electric dipole moment rotating with ultrahigh frequency, and the possibility of observing this directly as a resonance in electron channeling is analyzed in detail. Correspondence with the Dirac equation is discussed. A modification of the Dirac equation is suggested to incorporate the rotating dipole moment.


Zitterbewegung Geometric algebra Electron channeling de Broglie frequency 


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PhysicsArizona State UniversityTempeUSA

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