, Volume 47, Issue 5, pp 347-359

First online:

Relativistic operator description of photon polarization

  • ArvindAffiliated withDepartment of Physics, Indian Institute of Science
  • , N MukundaAffiliated withDepartment of Physics, Indian Institute of ScienceCentre for Theoretical Studies and Department of Physics, Indian Institute of ScienceJawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research

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We present an operator approach to the description of photon polarization, based on Wigner’s concept of elementary relativistic systems. The theory of unitary representations of the Poincarè group, and of parity, is exploited to construct spinlike operators acting on the polarization states of a photon at each fixed energy momentum. The nontrivial topological features of these representations relevant for massless particles, and the departures from the treatment of massive finite spin representations are highlighted and addressed.


Photon polarization Poincarè group representations massless particles


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