Advances in Theoretical and Mathematical Physics

Volume 22 (2018)

Number 1

An integral spectral representation of the massive Dirac propagator in the Kerr geometry in Eddington–Finkelstein-type coordinates

Pages: 47 – 92



Felix Finster (Fakultät für Mathematik, Universität Regensburg, Germany)

Christian Röken (Fakultät für Mathematik, Universität Regensburg, Germany)


We consider the massive Dirac equation in the non-extreme Kerr geometry in horizon-penetrating advanced Eddington–Finkelsteintype coordinates and derive a functional analytic integral representation of the associated propagator using the spectral theorem for unbounded self-adjoint operators, Stone’s formula, and quantities arising in the analysis of Chandrasekhar’s separation of variables. This integral representation describes the dynamics of Dirac particles outside and across the event horizon, up to the Cauchy horizon. In the derivation, we first write the Dirac equation in Hamiltonian form and show the essential self-adjointness of the Hamiltonian. For the latter purpose, as the Dirac Hamiltonian fails to be elliptic at the event and the Cauchy horizon, we cannot use standard elliptic methods of proof. Instead, we employ a new, general method for mixed initial-boundary value problems that combines results from the theory of symmetric hyperbolic systems with near-boundary elliptic methods. In this regard and since the time evolution may not be unitary because of Dirac particles impinging on the ring singularity, we also impose a suitable Dirichlet-type boundary condition on a time-like inner hypersurface placed inside the Cauchy horizon, which has no effect on the dynamics outside the Cauchy horizon. We then compute the resolvent of the Dirac Hamiltonian via the projector onto a finite-dimensional, invariant spectral eigenspace of the angular operator and the radial Green’s matrix stemming from Chandrasekhar’s separation of variables. Applying Stone’s formula to the spectral measure of the Hamiltonian in the spectral decomposition of the Dirac propagator, that is, by expressing the spectral measure in terms of this resolvent, we obtain an explicit integral representation of the propagator.

This work was supported by the DFG research grant “Dirac Waves in the Kerr Geometry: Integral Representations, Mass Oscillation Property and the Hawking Effect.”

Published 7 September 2018