Il Nuovo Cimento A (1965-1970)

, Volume 109, Issue 3, pp 271–279 | Cite as

The helicity of the free electromagnetic field and its physical meaning

Article

Summary

The notion of helicity for the free electromagnetic field is analysed. The generalized helicity is introduced which is a conserved quantity coinciding with the difference of the right and left circularly polarized photons composing the electromagnetic field. It seems that it completes the list of the zilch-type invariants found by Lipkin and Ragusa. The gauge-invariant expression for the energy of the free gravitational field is obtained which strongly resembles the well-known bilinear expression for the total number of photons composing the electromagnetic field.

PACS

11.10 - Field theory 

PACS

12.90 - Miscellaneous theoretical ideas and models 

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Copyright information

© Società Italiana di Fisica 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Bogoliubov Laboratory of Theoretical PhysicsJoint Institute for Nuclear ResearchDubna, Moscow DistrictRussia
  2. 2.The Institute of Physics and TechnologyKharkovUkraine

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