Uniqueness of conserved currents in quantum mechanics



It is proved by a functional method that the conventional expression for the Dirac current is the only conserved 4-vector implied by the Dirac equation that is a function of just the quantum state. The demonstration is extended to derive the unique conserved currents implied by the coupled Maxwell-Dirac equations and the Klein-Gordon equation. The uniqueness of the usual Pauli and Schrödinger currents follows by regarding these as the non-relativistic limits of the Dirac and Klein-Gordon currents, respectively. The existence and properties of further conserved vectors that are not functions of just the state is examined.