We construct a duality between several simple physical systems by showing that they are different aspects of the same quantum theory. Examples include the free relativistic massless particle and the hydrogen atom in any number of dimensions. The key is the gauging of the Sp(2) duality symmetry that treats position and momentum (x,p) as a doublet in phase space. As a consequence of the gauging, the Minkowski spacetime vectors xμ,pμ get enlarged by one additional spacelike and one additional timelike dimension to (xM,pM). A manifest global symmetry SO(d,2) rotates (xM,pM)-like (d+2)-dimensional vectors. The SO(d,2) symmetry of the parent theory may be interpreted as the familiar conformal symmetry of quantum field theory in Minkowski spacetime in one gauge or as the dynamical symmetry of a totally different physical system in another gauge. Thanks to the gauge symmetry, the theory permits various choices of ``time'' which correspond to different looking Hamiltonians, while avoiding ghosts. Thus we demonstrate that there is a physical role for a spacetime with two times when taken together with a gauged duality symmetry that produces appropriate constraints.
Physical Review D
- Pub Date:
- September 1998
- Conformal field theory algebraic structures;
- Nonlinear or nonlocal theories and models;
- High Energy Physics - Theory
- Latex, 23 pages