Definitions

Dyon

Dyon

In physics, a dyon is a hypothetical particle with both electric and magnetic charges. A dyon with a zero electric charge is usually referred to as a magnetic monopole. Many Grand Unified Theories predict the existence of both magnetic monopoles and dyons.

Dyons in Dirac's theory

In Dirac's theory, magnetic monopole is a point-like object which serves as a source of the magnetic field. It is possible to consider a more complicated object which is a source of both the electric field and the magnetic field. Dyons are allowed, but not required by this theory. In quantum theory, the allowed values of the electric and magnetic charges are constrained by the Dirac-Zwanziger-Schwinger quantization condition: if there exists both a particle with electric charge e_1 and magnetic charge g_1 and a particle with electric charge e_2 and magnetic charge g_2 , then one must have

e_1 g_2-e_2 g_1=2pi n chbar,

where n is an integer, c is the speed of light, and hbar is Planck's constant. This condition follows from the requirement that the wavefunction describing the system of these two particles be univalued (more precisely, it should be a well-defined section of a suitable line bundle on the configuration space of the two particles).

Dyons in Grand Unified Theories

In Grand Unified Theories, dyons can be regarded as excited states of magnetic monopoles. More precisely, the classical magnetic monopole solution has a circle-valued degree of freedom whose semiclassical quantization leads to a tower of states of increasing electric charge. Thus Grand Unified Theories can be said to predict dyons. In particular, it is possible to predict the masses of dyons.

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