Polarization of an emitted photon

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  • #1
naima
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Bonnes fetes de Noel.

When an excited electron returns to its ground state a photon is emitted.
Suppose that the electron's spin skip from +1/2 to -1/2 (around z)and that the photon has a momentum parallel to z.
I suppose that this photon has a circular polarization around z (Is it true?)
The problem is that there is no spin alone conservation but total angular momentum conservation.
Knowing all about |e> and |g> what can we calculate about the polarization of the emitted photon?
Have you links?
 
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  • #2
DrClaude
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Bonnes fetes de Noel.
Merci !

When an excited electron returns to its ground state a photon is emitted.
Suppose that the electron's spin skip from +1/2 to -1/2 (around z)and that the photon has a momentum parallel to z.
I suppose that this photon has a circular polarization around z (Is it true?)
To first order, the spin of the electron is not coupled to the electromagnetic field, so spin-flip doesn't occur during transtions. Look up selection rules.

The problem is that there is no spin alone conservation but total angular momentum conservation.
Knowing all about |e> and |g> what can we calculate about the polarization of the emitted photon?
Have you links?
You need to consider the total angular momentum of the electron, ##j##. For an emission in which you have ##j = +1/2 \rightarrow j' = -1/2##, that would correspond to a ##\sigma^+## photon, which means that if the photon is travelling along z, it has right-handed circular polarization. A recent discussion on this subject can be found here.
 
  • #3
DrDu
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You should also take in mind that a photon in a momentum eigenstate is not in an eigenstate of photon angular momentum, which are the vector spherical harmonics.
 
  • #4
naima
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Thank you
i read the links and questions will follow.
 

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