Questions tagged [angular-momentum]

The conserved quantity arising from a rotational invariance. Combine with rotational-dynamics for the classical mechanics approach and quantum-mechanics for the QM interpretation

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98
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10k views

Is Angular Momentum truly fundamental?

This may seem like a slightly trite question, but it is one that has long intrigued me. Since I formally learned classical (Newtonian) mechanics, it has often struck me that angular momentum (and ...
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If dark matter only interacts with gravity, why doesn't it all clump together in a single point?

I'm a complete layperson. As I understand, dark matter theoretically only interacts with the gravitational force, and doesn't interact with the other three fundamental forces: weak nuclear force, ...
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What is spin as it relates to subatomic particles?

I often hear about subatomic particles having a property called "spin" but also that it doesn't actually relate to spinning about an axis like you would think. Which particles have spin? What does ...
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Do solar systems typically spin in the same direction as their galaxy?

Is the net angular momentum vector of our solar system pointing in roughly the same direction as the Milky Way galaxy's net angular momentum vector? If yes or no, is that common for most stars in the ...
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Why does everything spin?

The origin of spin is some what a puzzle to me, everything spin from galaxies to planets to weather to electrons. Where has all the angular momentum come from? Why is it so natural? I was also ...
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Why the galaxies form 2D planes (or spiral-like) instead of 3D balls (or spherical-like)?

Question: As we know, (1) the macroscopic spatial dimension of our universe is 3 dimension, and (2) gravity attracts massive objects together and the gravitational force is isotropic without ...
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Why are our planets in the solar system all on the same disc/plane/layer? [duplicate]

I always see pictures of the solar system where our sun is in the middle and the planets surround the sun. All these planets move on orbits on the same layer. Why?
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Why don't galaxies orbit each other?

Planets orbit around stars, satellites orbit around planets, even stars orbit each other. So the question is: Why don't galaxies orbit each other in general, as it's rarely observed? Is it considered ...
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Why don't helicopters use reaction wheels to counter the main rotor?

As the main title says. I'm finding myself wondering about helicopters. The tail rotor is a vulnerable and key piece of equipment, especially on military helicopters. I know some helicopters instead ...
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What if the universe is rotating as a whole?

Suppose in the milliseconds after the big bang the cosmic egg had aquired some large angular momentum. As it expanded, keeping the momentum constant (not external forces) the rate of rotation would ...
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Why aren't there spherical galaxies? [duplicate]

According to the Wikipedia page on Galaxy Types, there are four main kinds of galaxies: Spirals - as the name implies, these look like huge spinning spirals with curved "arms" branching out ...
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How can the Earth keep spinning with a liquid core?

In regards to the 'conservation of angular momentum' being the explanation of why celestial objects spin... If you fill a ball or any other container with a liquid and try to spin it, you will not ...
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Why don't we feel the subtle speed change of Earth's elliptical orbit?

Earth's orbit is a slight ellipse, so to conserve momentum its speed increases when it is closest to the Sun. If the speed changes there is an acceleration. If there is an acceleration there is a ...
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Is spin really just “rest angular momentum”? [duplicate]

Spin is the intrinsic angular momentum of a particle. The particle itself is elementary and is not spinning on its axis, and has this momentum even at rest. The absolute magnitude of this momentum ...
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Where are the inaccuracies in the Bohr model of the atom?

The Bohr model of the atom is essentially that the nucleus is a ball and the electrons are balls orbiting the nucleus in a rigid orbit. This allowed for chemists to find a model of chemical bonding ...
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How does a spinning object “know” that it is spinning?

I am constructing a thought experiment about a spinning object that is floating in intergalactic space. I assume that this object is about the size of a planet so that it will have enough gravity so ...
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Apparent Violation of Newton's $3^{\text{rd}}$ Law and the Conservation of Momentum (and Angular Momentum) For a Pair of Charged Particles

Consider a system of the two identical positive point charges situated in free space (isolated from the influence of any other external fields) as shown in the attached diagram. Particle $1$ is at $(a,...
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Do black holes have a moment of inertia?

My question is in the title: Do black holes have a moment of inertia? I would say that it is: $$I ~\propto~ M R_S^2,$$ where $R_S$ is the Schwarzschild radius, but I cannot find anything in the ...
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Why don't spinning tops fall over?

One topic which was covered in university, but which I never understood, is how a spinning top "magically" resists the force of gravity. The conservation of energy explanations make sense, but I don't ...
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Physical meaning of the angular momentum

Still reading Classical Mechanics by Goldstein, I'm struggling on a very basic notion: angular momentum. I physically understand it as the momentum of an object rotating around something given a ...
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How to define angular momentum in other than three dimensions?

In classical mechanics with 3 space dimension the angular momentum is defined as $\mathbf{L} = \mathbf{r} \times \mathbf{p}$ In relativistic mechanics we have the 4-vectors $x^{\mu}$ and $p^{\mu}$, ...
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What causes a rotating object to rotate forever without external force—inertia, or something else?

Someone told me that it is not inertia, but I think it is inertia, because it will rotate forever. In my understanding, inertia is the constant motion of an object without external force. Am I wrong?
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Classical proof of the gyromagnetic ratio $g=2$

I was reading Representing Electrons: A Biographical Approach to Theoretical Entities, by Theodore Arabatzis. At a certain point, where he is explaining the history of the magnetic moment of the ...
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Adding 3 electron spins

I've learned how to add two 1/2-spins, which you can do with C-G-coefficients. There are 4 states (one singlet, three triplet states). States are symmetric or antisymmetric and the quantum numbers ...
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Is the angular momentum of the ceiling fan quantized?

According to quantum mechanics, any quantum angular momentum is quantized in units of $\hbar$. Does it mean that the angular momentum of the ceiling fan (due to its rotation) is quantized? If yes, ...
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Can a non-rotating ball have angular momentum?

Suppose a ball is going straight along a fixed line without rotating. Now you consider a point which is not along the trajectory of the ball. If I want to consider the angular momentum about that ...
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Rotation angle of a giant water lily when a child crawls on its rim

Below is a picture of Giant Water Lily. Scientific Name: Victoria Amazonica. Leaves of some of these could be as big as 3 m diameter and carry a weight of 45kg spread evenly and can support a child. ...
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Due to relativity, does the surface of a pulsar have less area than the layer beneath it?

A pulsar or spinning neutron star can reach relativistic angular velocities. Special relativity asserts that objects traveling near the speed of light contract in length. Therefore, it seems ...
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Why does a Yo-Yo sleep, and then awaken?

What are the mathematics / mechanics principles behind a sleeping Yo-Yo, and in particular, what changes with a wrist-snap flick that causes it to "awaken" and return to your hand?     &...
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How does one experimentally determine chirality, helicity, spin and angular momentum of a fundamental particle?

If I've got an instance of a fundamental particle, how can I separate out the measurements of these four quantities? (I think) I understand the theory behind them, and why the particles in the ...
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Why is there this relationship between quaternions and Pauli matrices?

I've just started studying quantum mechanics, and I've come across this correlation between Pauli matrices ($\sigma_i$) and quaternions which I can't grasp: namely, that $i\sigma_1$, $i\sigma_2$ and $...
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What do the Pauli matrices mean?

All the introductions I've found to Pauli matrices so far simply state them and then start using them. Accompanying descriptions of their meaning seem frustratingly incomplete; I, at least, can't ...
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Integral of the product of three spherical harmonics

Does anyone know how to derive the following identity for the integral of the product of three spherical harmonics?: \begin{align}\int_0^{2\pi}\int_0^\pi Y_{l_1}^{m_1}(\theta,\phi)Y_{l_2}^{m_2}(\...
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What is the prevailing opinion in scientific community about Hans C. Ohanian's description of spin?

In the paper What is spin?, Am. J. Phys. 54 (1986) 500, by Hans C. Ohanian, spin is described as a circulating flow of energy in the wave-field of a particle. Is this the generally agreed upon ...
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Why do all the planets of the solar system orbit in roughly the same 2D plane?

Most images you see of the solar system are 2D and all planets orbit in the same plane. In a 3D view, are really all planets orbiting in similar planes? Is there a reason for this? I'd expect that the ...
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Why Silver atoms were used in Stern-Gerlach experiment?

For the Stern-Gerlach experiment done in 1922: Why were silver atoms used? Silver atoms contain many electrons in different shells (with different angular momemtum quantum numbers. Why are those not ...
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Is the right hand rule a trick to avoid tensors?

I have read in this answer that "to represent angular momentum as a vector you need to use a right hand rule. This is annoying, because physics at ordinary scales is reflection invariant but ...
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Why are some galaxies flat?

What is the explanation for the flatness of some galaxies? (If it's due to their rotation then why they are rotating, why some other galaxies are not flat etc., I would like to hear a nice and ...
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How can I understand a Vortex Tube and its efficiency?

A Vortex Tube takes a pressurized input stream, most typically of a gas, and creates two output streams with a temperature differential. Apparently, it has been described as a Maxwell's Demon. Both ...
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Origin of Ladder Operator methods

Ladder operators are found in various contexts (such as calculating the spectra of the harmonic oscillator and angular momentum) in almost all introductory Quantum Mechanics textbooks. And every book ...
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Why does spin have a discrete spectrum?

Why is it that unlike other quantum properties such as momentum and velocity, which usually are given through (probabilistic) continuous values, spin has a (probabilistic) discrete spectrum?
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What is black hole spin?

First of, congrats to the people at LIGO. In this article, the BBC notes that the latest LIGO results show that a new black hole was formed with a spin of $0.2$ (dimensionless number). What exactly ...
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Do mankind and manmade activities/constructions have any effect on the rotation of the Earth?

We walk or ride on our vehicles to our destinations daily. Does our movement have any effect on the rotation of the earth according to Newton's law? What will be the effect if we move all the peoples ...
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Why does a spinning top get back upright when knocked?

I have observed that, a spinning top, when toppled by knocking it with finger, becomes almost upright again (with negligible precessional motion), instead of undergoing precession while being heavily ...
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Why are spacecraft made to “spin” after launch?

At some point after launch, usually just before or after separation from the last booster stage, spacecraft are often made to "spin" (about the axis of their trajectory)? See e.g this You Tube video. ...
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Wouldn't angular momentum of a binary star system decrease?

Consider a binary star system, as these stars go around one another they would emit gravitational waves. Since, the graviton is a spin 2 particle. Wouldn't the angular momentum of the stars decrease? ...
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Why doesn't the uncertainty principle contradict the existence of definite-angular momentum states?

We know that for a position variable $x$ and momentum $p$, the uncertainties of the two quantities are bounded by $$\Delta x \Delta p \gtrsim \hbar$$ Now, this is usually first explained with $x$ ...
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An electron has no known internal structure, does that imply it has an unknown one?

I'm currently reading Alonso and Finn's Electromagnetism book. It explains that the spin contributes to the magnetic moment and is somewhat comparable to a rotation of the particle around its own ...
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Photons with half integer angular momentum - what's happening?

I have just read this article - what is happening? Analysing these beams within the theory of quantum mechanics they predicted that the angular momentum of the photon would be half-integer, and ...
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When are there enough Casimirs?

I know that a Casimir for a Lie algebra $\mathfrak{g}$ is a central element of the universal enveloping algebra. For example in $\mathfrak{so}(3)$ the generators are the angular momentum operators $...