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Polarization and helicity states

  1. Feb 3, 2013 #1
    At the beginning of cpt 9, Griffiths states that massive bosons have three polarization states (m_s = 1, 0, -1), but massless ones have only two (m_s = 1, -1). Are these polarization states the same thing as helicity states? I.e. the W/Z would have 3 helicity states and the photon only 2?
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 3, 2013 #2


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    Science Advisor

    Yes, with the caution that for a massive particle, helicity is not Lorentz invariant. But the number of independent spin states is like you say.
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