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Helicity (as related to photons and Z-bosons)

  1. May 15, 2008 #1
    Ahoy maties,

    I understand that spin 'direction' relates to helicity, bosons have integral spin (-1, 0, 1, 2, etc) and that photons and Z-bosons are unique in that they are 'their own antiparticles'. With this context, I have 2 question strings (so I don't have to post multiple times) concerning the answer to the following question: Do bosons have helicity?

    1) If so, couldn't they be differentiated from their antiparticles? Wouldn't we really have 1 each of a 'left-handed and right-handed' gamma photon after annihilation processes? If so, why the hell do people confusingly say these are their own antiparticles (which could be thought of as true only in the particular case of spin=0)? Isn't that just as obviously wrong (except spin=0) as overlooking the property of charge-anticharge?

    2) If not, is a photon different from a Z-boson only because of the presence of mass? Do 2 indistinguishable Z-bosons annihilate into 2 indistinguishable gamma photons?

  2. jcsd
  3. May 16, 2008 #2
    Since gluons are also 'their own antiparticles' this applies to them too.
  4. May 16, 2008 #3
    Actually, forget it. I'm not even sure whether anyone understood my ham-fisted questions, but I found the answers.
  5. May 16, 2008 #4


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    You have also to consider how they couple to other particles!! They couple very differently to quarks, muons, etc!
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