The noncommutative geometry of Zitterbewegung

MichaƂ Eckstein, Nicolas Franco, Tomasz Miller
October 31, 2016
Based on the mathematics of noncommutative geometry, we model a 'classical' Dirac fermion propagating in a curved spacetime. We demonstrate that the inherent causal structure of the model encodes the possibility of Zitterbewegung - the 'trembling motion' of the fermion. We recover the well-known frequency of Zitterbewegung as the highest possible speed of change in the fermion's 'internal space'. Furthermore, we show that the latter does not change in the presence of an external electromagnetic field and derive its explicit analogue when the mass parameter is promoted to a Higgs-like field. We discuss a table-top experiment in the domain of quantum simulation to test the predictions of the model and outline the consequences of our model for quantum gauge theories.