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Photons, as each massless particles, are characterized not by spin (which is defined as total angular momentum at rest, and mathematically corresponds to irreducible representation of the little group of representation), but by helicity $\lambda$ - the projection of total angular momentum on the direction of motion. Actually, the Casimir operator, which ...


By definition of spin $S$ it is a positive integer number or zero. Not to confuse with the spin projection possible values $S_z$, which may run from $-S$ to $S$.


Spin 1 just means that the spin in any direction can assume values out of {-1,0,1}. The 0 is only possible for massive particles, so the photon can have spin -1 or +1. That's like clockwise and anticlockwise circular polarization

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