The coupling of antimatter to gravity is of general interest because of conceivable cosmological consequences ("surprises") related to dark energy and the cosmological constant. Here, we revisit the derivation of the gravitationally coupled Dirac equation and find that the prefactor of a result given previously by Brill and Wheeler [Rev. Mod. Phys. 29, 465 (1957)] for the affine connection matrix is in need of a correction. We also discuss the conversion of the curved-space Dirac equation from the so-called "East-Coast" to the "West-Coast" convention, in order to bring the gravitationally coupled Dirac equation to a form where it can easily be unified with the electromagnetic coupling as it is commonly used in modern particle physics calculations. The Dirac equation describes antiparticles as negative-energy states. We find a symmetry of the gravitationally coupled Dirac equation, which connects particle and antiparticle solutions for a general space-time metric of the Schwarzschild type and implies that particles and antiparticles experience the same coupling to the gravitational field, including all relativistic quantum corrections of motion. Our results demonstrate the consistency of quantum mechanics with general relativity and imply that a conceivable difference of gravitational interaction of hydrogen and antihydrogen should directly be attributed to a a "fifth force" ("quintessence").



Keywords and Phrases

Cosmological Constants; General Relativity; Gravitational Fields; Gravitational Interaction; Hydrogen And Antihydrogen; Negative-energy State; Quantum Correction; Space-time Metric; Quantum Theory; Linear Equations

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Document Type

Article - Journal

Document Version

Final Version

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© 2013 American Physical Society (APS), All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Mar 2013

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Physics Commons