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i have seen some analogies of spin using playing cards but i am struggling to grasp the concept due to this making no sense in terms of playing cards


marked as duplicate by ACuriousMind, Prahar, Kyle Kanos, John Rennie, Ryan Unger Apr 14 '15 at 20:01

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    $\begingroup$ For color, see this question. $\endgroup$ – ACuriousMind Apr 14 '15 at 11:18
  • $\begingroup$ this still leaves how a particle can have a spin of 2 $\endgroup$ – ziggy Apr 14 '15 at 11:19
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    $\begingroup$ What do you mean, "how"? From Noldorin's answer: "Specifically, the allowed values of the spin quantum number s are non-negative multiples of 1/2." Don't cling to that card analogy, it's just an analogy that breaks down if you think about it too hard. Spin is a technical term with a very precise technical meaning. $\endgroup$ – ACuriousMind Apr 14 '15 at 11:23
  • $\begingroup$ ok, so the card idea is not a good one that does not work too well. i'll just accept that it can happen considering that it is not literally referring to spin as something like a card. having a spin of 2 does fit the explanation you directed me to. $\endgroup$ – ziggy Apr 14 '15 at 11:29
  • $\begingroup$ You can help us by describing the analogy with playing cards that you refer to. At least one of us has never seen it. $\endgroup$ – garyp Apr 14 '15 at 12:22

I hear that analogy too. Spin 0: any rotation left the "object" invariant, like a circle who rotates. Spin 1/2: half rotation to het the initial state of the object, and here we are: any figure of the playing card "has spin 1/2".

Spin 1: any non figure card, like who knows, the ace of clubs. One integer rotation to get is as it was initially.

Spin 2: no example in playing cards. But you may think about the Moebius strip. You have to make 2 rounds to get back to the initial state/position. This is the best analogy for spin 2.

Now we should have to find an analogy for spin 3/2 :D

  • $\begingroup$ what about a hyper cube? $\endgroup$ – ziggy Apr 14 '15 at 11:44
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    $\begingroup$ Don't you have it backwards? I'm pretty sure the playing card is spin $2$ and the spin $\frac{1}{2}$ is where it starts to get tricky (because fermions are represented by spinors not vectors). $\endgroup$ – or1426 Apr 14 '15 at 12:01

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