Rarita-Schwinger equation


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Rarita-Schwinger equation

[′rä·rē·tä ′shviŋ·ər i‚kwā·shən]
(quantum mechanics)
A partial differential equation, similar in form to the Dirac equation, relating the spatial and time dependence of a 16-component wave function describing a free relativistic particle with intrinsic spin ³⁄₂, and its antiparticle.
References in periodicals archive ?
The Rarita-Schwinger equation is used to describe spin 3/2, but depending on the choice of free parameters present in the equation it may describe single spin 3/2, spin 3/2 and one spin 1/2, spin 3/2, and two spins 1/2.
Dirac's master wave equation can be factorized--essentially by taking the square-root of the d'Alembertian operator applied to a Majorana 2-spinor wavefunction--to obtain not only Dirac's famous electron equation (in the common 4-spinor formalism), but also the equations for more exotic spinning particles (including the Proca equation, the Duffin-Kemmer equation for spins 0 and 1, and the Rarita-Schwinger equations for spin 3/2).