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Neutrino polarization

  1. Apr 30, 2013 #1
    I was reading in my QM book that neutrinos are "essentially left handedly polarized." (Townsend on Page 119)

    If neutrinos can be polarized, what is oscillating? Do other particles with mass exhibit polarization?
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 30, 2013 #2

    Meir Achuz

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    Yes. You don't need oscillation to get polarization. Particles can have intrinsic angular momentum, called spin.
  4. Apr 30, 2013 #3
    I'm not sure I understand completely.

    What's the connection between spin of a photon and the polarization of the E field? Photons are spin 1 (3 eigenstates) and E polarization is a two state problem. I can't think of an obvious correspondence.
  5. Apr 30, 2013 #4


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    Massive spin-1 particles have left-handed, right-handed and longitudinal polarization states. Massless ones like photons have only the left-handed and right-handed states, which are the two varieties of circular polarization.
  6. Apr 30, 2013 #5
    Is there a good reason spin-0 states are forbidden for massless particles? What's the underlying principle?
  7. Apr 30, 2013 #6
    maybe because without mass they need something to keep them existing?
  8. May 1, 2013 #7
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