Bulg. J. Phys. vol.46 no.2 (2019), pp. 117-133

The Lure of Conformal Symmetry

Ivan Todorov1,2
1Institut des Hautes &Eacite;tudes Scientifiques, 35 route de Chartres, F-91440 Bures-sur-Yvette, France
2Institute for Nuclear Research and Nuclear Energy, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, Tsarigradsko Chaussee 72, BG-1784 Sofia, Bulgaria (permanent address)
Abstract. The Clifford algebra Cl(4,1) ≃ ℂ [4], generated by the real (Majorana) γ-matrices and by a hermitian &gamma[5, gives room to the reductive Lie algebra u(2,2) of the conformal group extended by the u(1) helicity operator. Its unitary positive energy ladder representations, constructed by Gerhard Mack and the author 50 years ago, opened the way to a better understanding of zero-mass particles and fields and their relation to the space of bound states of the hydrogen atom. They became a prototypical example of a minimal representation of a non-compact reductive group introduced during the subsequent decade by Joseph.

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