Dirac and Maxwell equations: Unified view” by Prof. Iwo Bialynicki-Birula from the Center for Theoretical Physics, Polish Academy of Sciences

Three 60-minute lectures at the DIPC main seminar room open to everybody, from 11h30 to 12h30 on Monday 18 February, Tuesday 19 February and Thursday 21 February.


Even though Dirac and Maxwell equations describe completely different particles: massive charged electrons and massless neutral photons, they have many common features derived from their relativistic character. These common feature not only elucidate the physical properties of photons and electrons but also simplify the generation of solutions of these equations.


The series of three 60 minute lectures will be devoted to the description of freely propagating electrons and photons. It will be shown how to generate easily various nontrivial solutions and how these solutions are related to the quantum numbers of particles.


  • Lecture 1 on Monday at 11h30: Conceptual differences between relativistic and nonrelativistic quantum mechanics. Relativistic invariance and the related dynamical quantities.
  • Lecture 2 on Tuesday at 11h30:  The relativistic content of the Dirac equation and crucial differences with the Schroedinger-Pauli equation
  • Lecture 3 on Thursday at 11h 30: Maxwell equations interpreted as the evolution equation for the photon wave function.