# Is spin is a conserved entity?

Suppose that an electron with spin up emits a photon in the field of an ion (bremsstrahlung). What is the spin of the emitted photon? Is it correct to say that the photon is circularly polarized if the spin of the electron flips down and linearly polarised if it remains up?

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Now, by conservation of angular momentum it must always be the case that the electron's spin flips in the first order (because $1/2 = -1/2 + 1$ is the only possible solution) and that means the photon is circularly polarized. In the second order, it could stay the same if you emitted two photons with opposite helicities one after the other.