Questions tagged [helicity]

In particle physics, helicity is the projection of the angular momentum onto the direction of momentum. For massless spin-1⁄2 particles, helicity is equivalent to the chirality operator multiplied by $\hbar/2$, so may be used for related chirality questions as well.

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1answer
673 views

The question about Lorentz invariance of the helicity quantum number for the massless particles

I need to show that helicity is Lorentz invariant (under the proper Lorentz transformation) for the massless particles. I heard about most frequently used argument which contains an idea of ...
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1answer
920 views

Does the concept of both helicity and chirality make sense for a massive Dirac spinor?

Does the concept of both helicity and chirality make sense for a massive Dirac spinor? A massive electron in the chiral basis is written as a column made up of $\psi_L$ and $\psi_R$. What is the ...
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0answers
370 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 ...
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3answers
4k views

Why does the Standard Model predict Neutrinos are massless?

Why are neutrinos massless in the Standard Model? Is it connected with experimental fact that neutrinos always have only one direction of projection of spin on motion direction?
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1answer
344 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 ...
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1answer
491 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 ...
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1answer
453 views

Coulomb gauge and two degrees of freedom of EM field

The EM field has two possible polarizations, which is caused by spin-one nature of field (leads to the Lorenz gauge) and massless of the field. Really, the Klein-Gordon equations for the EM field $$ \...
5
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1answer
838 views

Weak interaction and the Chirality of anti-particles

Consider a weak current of the form $ J^{\mu} = \bar{u}_{\nu}\gamma^{\mu}(1-\gamma^5)u_{e} $ This describes the part of a weak process where a left-handed electron converts into a left-handed ...
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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 \...
12
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3answers
4k views

If photons carry 1 spin unit, why does visible light seem to have no angular momentum?

Spin 1 silver atoms have a definite spin axis, e.g. up or down along an axis labeled X. This in turn means that they carry angular momentum in an overt, visible fashion. However, spin 1 photons do ...
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0answers
469 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 ...
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1answer
2k views

Why helicity is proportional to the spin of particle and has two values?

How can it be shown without using the little group formalism? Let's have the Wigner's classification for the irreducible represetation of the Poincare group. For the massless case the eigenvalues of ...
5
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1answer
379 views

Helicity Representation of Massive Spinor

For massless spinors case we can decompose momentum into Weyl sub-parts as $$p = \lambda_{a}\tilde \lambda_{\dot a}.$$ But for the case of massive fermions can I do something like this? Decompose ...
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85 views

Helicity dependence in loop diagrams

I am trying to evaluate a diagram that looks like The middle of the diagram is a fermion loop. I know that the coupling between the $Z^0$ and fermions depends on the fermions' helicities, so it ...
5
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2answers
866 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 ...
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0answers
122 views

Helicity for Zero Rest Mass Field Equations

I'm trying to reconcile the usual definition of the helicity operator, namely $$ h = \hat{p}.S$$ with the definition of a massless helicity $n$ field as a symmetric spinor field $\phi^{A\dots B}$ ...
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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 ...
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1answer
1k 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 ...
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8answers
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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 $...
13
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1answer
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Why does photon have only two possible eigenvalues of helicity? [duplicate]

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 ...
6
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2answers
1k views

Feynman rules with helicity states.

Whenever Feynman rules are stated they are always without any mention of the helicities - this I find to be very confusing. How does one introduce and account for that? Is there an intuitive/simple ...
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2answers
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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 ...
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2answers
4k views

How does one experimentally determine chirality, helicity, spin and angular momentum of a fundamental particle?

If I've got an instance of a fundamental particle, how can I separate out the measurements of these four quantities? (I think) I understand the theory behind them, and why the particles in the ...
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4answers
13k views

What's the difference between helicity and chirality?

When a particle spins in the same direction as its momentum, it has right helicity, and left helicity otherwise. Neutrinos, however, have some kind of inherent helicity called chirality. But they can ...