Computing the normalized dirac wave function for oblique electric and magnetic fields

F. Melia, M. Fatuzzo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Interactions taking place in superstrong gravitational and magnetic fields can account for a wide variety of spectral emissions from compact objects such as neutron stars. A quantum treatment of the particle transport in these environments, e.g., needed to calculate the anisotropic electrical conductivity, depends on the evaluation of matrix elements with solutions to the Dirac equation in oblique electric (E) and magnetic (H) fields. However, due to the complexity of the bispinors, these overlap integrals are often extremely difficult to compute. Indeed, no normalized wave function yet exists. Here we show that, in the special case when E/H≲10-4, a simplification of the matrix elements permits an analytic integration that yields explicit expressions for the normalization constant and other overlap integrals. Physical quantities, such as the conductivity tensor, that depend directly on these matrix elements may then be computed in a straightforward way.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)253-261
Number of pages9
JournalIl Nuovo Cimento B
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1991


  • PACS 11.10.Qr Relativistic wave equations
  • PACS 3.50.De Maxwell theory: general mathematical aspects
  • PACS 52.40.Mj Particle beam interactions in plasma (including intese charged-particle beams)
  • PACS 97.10.Ld Magnetic and electric fields
  • polarization and starlight

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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