1
vote
0answers
46 views

If a photon is a boson and has spin 1, shouldn't it have 3 spin orientations since spin 1 is a triplet? [duplicate]

I've gotten used to the fact that a spin can be described by its total spin and its $z$-component. And I've learned that a particle (really, anything) with spin 1 forms a triplet with three possible ...
3
votes
0answers
105 views

Reducing massive representation of the Poincare group to the massless one

I want to ask about the connection for massive and massless representation of the Poincare group. Sorry for the awkwardness. First I must to represent the formalism for both of cases. Massive ...
7
votes
1answer
149 views

Is the third spin vector of a photon always suppressed?

I like to tell people interested in light polarization that the photon is a vector boson for which the third spin axis, the one in the direction of travel, is suppressed due to photons being massless ...
0
votes
0answers
73 views

Photons angular momentum / spin

I have a textbook that says that photons have a spin of absolute value $\hbar$ and at some other point, they say that it has angular momentum of absolute value $\hbar$. Now, since they are different ...
1
vote
1answer
159 views

Maxwell's equations as the particular case of massive vector field equation

There was a discussion (please look to the comments on my answer) about getting Maxwell's equations for free spin-1 field by using massive spin-1 representation's equations. I'll start from the ...
4
votes
0answers
151 views

Chirality and helicity operators for the massless bispinor rep and their generalisation on arbitrary (tensor, 4-vector etc) cases

Let's have chirality projection operator $$ \hat {C}_{\pm} = \frac{1 \pm \gamma^{5}}{2}. $$ We introduce it and called it chirality, because $$ \hat {C}_{+}\psi = \begin{pmatrix} \psi_{\alpha} \\ 0 ...
3
votes
0answers
142 views

Chirality, helicity and their relationship for the massless case

Chirality can be interpreted as a property of Lorentz group - Lorentz transformation of field through representation $(s, 0)$ or representation $(0, s)$. For the massless particles one says, that ...
1
vote
2answers
228 views

Doubts concerning Wigner's classification

Wigner classified particles in function of the eigenvalues of $P_\mu P^\mu$ and $W_\mu W^\mu$. Then, it can be proved that for massless particles spin values can be only $\pm s_{max}$. But for a ...
1
vote
0answers
177 views

Helicity operator in Non relativistic limit

Helicity operator in Dirac equation is given by $$H=\frac{\vec{S}\times \vec{P}}{P^{2}}$$ This operator commutes with dirac hamiltonian.We can also define a helicity(with same form) operator in case ...
8
votes
0answers
453 views

What is the difference between the properties of Electron spin and Photon polarization/helicity?

What is the difference between a photon's polarization/helicity and an electrons spin half? I know that the photon is spin 1 but isn't its polarization analogous to spin half? This question stems ...
17
votes
4answers
1k views

Why is the $S_{z} =0$ state forbidden for photons?

If photons are spin-1 bosons, then doesn't quantum mechanics imply that the allowed values for the z-component of spin (in units of $\hbar$) are -1, 0, and 1? Why then in practice do we only use the ...
6
votes
1answer
844 views

Why does photon have only two possible eigenvalues of helicity?

Photon is a spin-1 particle. Were it massive, its spin projected along some direction would be either 1, -1, or 0. But photons can only be in an eigenstate of $S_z$ with eigenvalue $\pm 1$ (z as the ...
2
votes
1answer
516 views

Photon spin projection to arbitrary axis

For photons (and any massless particle) we consider only a spin projection into the direction of motion (helicity). Why it's meaningless to talk about projection of photon's spin into some arbitrary ...
10
votes
1answer
842 views

How does one experimentally determine chirality, helicity, spin and angular momentum?

If I've got an instance of a fundamental particle, how can I separate out the measurements of these three concepts? (I think) I understand the theory behind them, and why the particles in the ...