The Dirac Electron: Spin, Zitterbewegung, the Compton Wavelength, and the Kinetic Foundation of Rest Mass

  • Jean Maruani
Conference paper
Part of the Progress in Theoretical Chemistry and Physics book series (PTCP, volume 26)


The Dirac equation, which was derived by combining, in a consistent manner, the relativistic invariance condition with the quantum superposition principle, has shown its fecundity by explaining the electron spin, predicting antimatter, and enabling Schrödinger’s trembling motion (Zitterbewegung). It has also yielded as expectation value for the electron speed the velocity of light. But the question has hardly been raised as to the effect of this intrinsic motion on the electron mass. In this chapter, we conjecture that the internal structure of the electron should consist of a massless charge describing, at light velocity, a vibrating motion in a domain defined by the Compton wavelength, the measured rest mass being generated by this very internal motion.


Dirac Equation Rest Mass Internal Motion Light Velocity Spin Angular Momentum 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Laboratoire de Chimie Physique – Matière et RayonnementCNRS & UPMCParisFrance

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