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Spin of photons/gamma ray transitions

  1. Aug 19, 2009 #1
    When I look at a nuclear level scheme, there are many gamma ray transitions from energy levels of say, spin 4 to spin 2. However, my understanding was that photons carry spin 1, and so conservation of angular momentum would say that you can only change the spin of a level by 1. What am I missing here? Can photons carry any integer spin, eg 1,2,3....?
     
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  3. Aug 19, 2009 #2

    Vanadium 50

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    The photon can be emitted with orbital angular momentum relative to the emitting nucleus.
     
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