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Questions tagged [quantum-spin]

Fundamental characteristic property of particles which together with orbital angular momentum acts as the generator of rotations and which doesn't have a classical equivalent but is sometimes compared to and contrasted with classical intrinsic angular momentum.

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144
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2answers
20k views

Why do we not have spin greater than 2?

It is commonly asserted that no consistent, interacting quantum field theory can be constructed with fields that have spin greater than 2 (possibly with some allusion to renormalization). I've also ...
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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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5answers
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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 ...
73
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4answers
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Why do same/opposite electric charges repel/attract each other, respectively?

I know plus pushes another plus away, but why, really, do they do that? On the other hand, molecules of the same type are attracted to each other. I find that weird. I do know some stuff about four ...
71
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8answers
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Why is the $S_{z} =0$ state forbidden for photons?

If photons are spin-1 bosons, then doesn't quantum mechanics imply that the allowed values for the z-component of spin (in units of $\hbar$) are -1, 0, and 1? Why then in practice do we only use the $...
58
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7answers
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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 ...
46
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6answers
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How do we know photons have spin 1?

Electrons have spin 1/2, and as they are charged, they also have an associated magnetic moment, which can be measured by an electron beam splitting up in an inhomogeneous magnetic field or through the ...
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8answers
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Why is the gravitational force always attractive?

Why is the gravitational force always attractive? Is there another way to explain this without the curvature of space time? PS: If the simple answer to this question is that mass makes space-time ...
37
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5answers
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Difference between spin and polarization of a photon

I understand how one associates the spin of a quantum particle, e.g. of a photon, with intrinsic angular momentum. And in electromagnetism I have always understood the polarization of an EM wave as ...
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3answers
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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 ...
31
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3answers
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Why does interaction with a Stern-Gerlach machine, or any other laboratory apparatus, not cause a measurement?

Consider a Stern-Gerlach machine that measures the $z$-component of the spin of an electron. Suppose our electron's initial state is an equal superposition of $$|\text{spin up}, \text{going right} \...
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3answers
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Why there is no dipole gravitational wave?

I have read that "thanks to conservation of momentum" there is no dipole gravitational radiation. I am confused about this, since I cannot see the difference with e.m. radiation. Is this due to the ...
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4answers
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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 ...
25
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5answers
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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 ...
22
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3answers
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Why do we need 12 atoms to store 1 bit of data?

Recent research at IBM has found a way to store 1 bit of data in 12 atoms. While that is a big accomplishment compared to what we have today, it does seem like a waste to a non-physics eye like me. ...
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4answers
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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 ...
21
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5answers
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Why would Klein-Gordon describe spin-0 scalar field while Dirac describe spin-1/2?

The derivation of both Klein-Gordon equation and Dirac equation is due the need of quantum mechanics (or to say more correctly, quantum field theory) to adhere to special relativity. However, excpet ...
21
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2answers
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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 ...
21
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2answers
574 views

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 ...
20
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6answers
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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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2answers
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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 ...
19
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1answer
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A reading list to build up to the spin statistics theorem

Wikipedia's article on the spin-statistics theorem sums it up thusly: In quantum mechanics, the spin-statistics theorem relates the spin of a particle to the particle statistics it obeys. The spin ...
19
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1answer
529 views

Is there a field equation which can reduce into all three flavors of spin (zero, one, one half)?

Is there a known particle field equation of a similar form $$ \begin{equation} (\Gamma^n \pi_n)^2 \Psi = (mc)^2 \Psi \tag{1} \end{equation} $$ such that by reducing the number of degrees of freedom ...
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4answers
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Huge confusion with Fermions and Bosons and how they relate to total spin of atom

I am supremely confused when something has spin or when it does not. For example, atomic Hydrogen has 4 fermions, three quarks to make a proton, and 1 electron. There is an even number of fermions, ...
18
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2answers
213 views

What Shannon channel capacity bound is associated to two coupled spins?

The question asked is: What is the Shannon channel capacity $C$ that is naturally associated to the two-spin quantum Hamiltonian $H = \boldsymbol{L\cdot S}$? This question arises with a view ...
18
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4answers
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How to tackle 'dot' product for spin matrices

I read a textbook today on quantum mechanics regarding the Pauli spin matrices for two particles, it gives the Hamiltonian as $$ H = \alpha[\sigma_z^1 + \sigma_z^2] + \gamma\vec{\sigma}^1\cdot\vec{\...
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When an electron changes its spin, or any other intrinsic property, is it still the same electron?

I am not asking why an intrinsic property, like spin can have more then a single value. I understand particles (electrons) can come to existence with either up or down spin. I am asking why it can ...
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3answers
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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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2answers
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How can I read off the fact that gravity is associated with spin-2 particles from the Einstein-Hilbert action?

I have often heard that the gravitational field has spin $2$. How can I read the spin of the field from the Einstein-Hilbert action $$S=\int \! \mathrm{d}^4x \,\sqrt{|g|} \, \mathcal{R} \, \, \, ?$$
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Spin - where does it come from?

I study physics and am attending a course on quantum field theory. It is hard for me to draw connections from there to the old conventional theories. In quantum field theory spin originates from the ...
16
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4answers
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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 ...
16
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2answers
658 views

What is the momentum canonically conjugate to spin in QM?

In Kopec and Usadel's Phys. Rev. Lett. 78.1988, a spin glass Hamiltonian is introduced in the form: $$ H = \frac{\Delta}{2}\sum_i \Pi^2_i - \sum_{i<j}J_{ij}\sigma_i \sigma_j, $$ where the ...
16
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1answer
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Detailed derivation and explanation of the AKLT Hamiltonian

I am trying to read the original paper for the AKLT model, Rigorous results on valence-bond ground states in antiferromagnets. I Affleck, T Kennedy, RH Lieb and H Tasaki. Phys. Rev. Lett. 59, 799 (...
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4answers
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Is it true that the Schrödinger equation only applies to spin-1/2 particles?

I recently came across a claim that the Schrödinger equation only describes spin-1/2 particles. Is this true? I realize that the question may be ill-posed as some would consider the general ...
16
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3answers
567 views

Why does spin appear in quantum systems but not classical systems?

It is often claimed that spin is a purely quantum property with no classical analogue. However (as was very recently pointed out to me), there is a classical analogue to spin whose action is given (in ...
16
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1answer
378 views

What is the spin-statistics theorem in higher dimensions?

In $d = 3+1$ dimensions, the spin-statistics theorem states that fermionic particles have half-integer spin and bosonic particles have integer spin, in a well-behaved relativistic quantum field theory....
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5answers
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How are the Pauli matrices for the electron spin derived?

Could you explain how to derive the Pauli matrices? $$\sigma_1 = \sigma_x = \begin{pmatrix} 0&1 \\ 1&0 \end{pmatrix}\,, \qquad \sigma_2 = \sigma_y = \begin{pmatrix} 0&-i\\ i&...
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4answers
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Why does each celestial object spin on its own axis?

AFAIK all the celestial objects have a spin motion around its axis. What is the reason for this? If it must rotate by some theory, what decides it's direction and speed of rotation? Is there any ...
15
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4answers
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What does spin 0 mean exactly?

I heard two definitions: Spin 0 means that the particle has spherical symmetry, without any preferred axis. The spin value tells after which angle of rotation the wave function returns to itself: $2\...
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3answers
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Why can't I just think the spin as rotating?

I'm going mad about the problem. I really don't understand why do electron have 1/2 spin number, why they are not actually spinning. I can accept that the electrons have their own magnetic field, ...
15
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3answers
851 views

Paradox about the Stern-Gerlach experiment with $B=0$, $\nabla B\ne 0$

In a modern interpretation of the historical Stern-Gerlach experiment, a beam of neutral silver atoms, each with spin 1/2, was sent in the z direction through a nonuniform magnetic field having both a ...
15
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1answer
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What is a general definition of the spin of a particle?

In quantum field theory, one defines a particle as a unitary irreducible representations of the Poincaré group. The study of these representations allows to define the mass and the spin of the ...
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1answer
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Spacetime Torsion, the Spin tensor, and intrinsic spin in Einstein-Cartan theory

In Einstein-Cartan gravity, the action is the usual Einstein-Hilbert action but now the Torsion tensor is allowed to vary as well (in usual GR, it is just set to zero). Variation with respect to the ...
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1answer
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Can nowadays spin be described using path integrals?

In Feynmans book, "Quantum mechanics and Path Integrals" he writes in the conclusions (chapter 12-10) With regards to quantum mechanics, path integrals suffer most grievously from a serious defect. ...
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5answers
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How can a point-particle have properties?

I have trouble imagining how two point-particles can have different properties. And how can finite mass, and finite information (ie spin, electric charge etc.) be stored in 0 volume? Not only that, ...
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4answers
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Why doesn't the deuterium nucleus have spin 0?

A deuterium nucleus is composed of a proton and a neutron. Both have spin 1/2 so I would expect the deuterium to have two possible spins: 1 for the triplet and 0 for the singlet. But apparently ...
14
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2answers
587 views

In a universe with four spatial dimensions would there be elementary particles with intrinsic isoclinic spin?

Elementary particles have an intrinsic property called spin which is different from classical spin as it does not involve actual rotation and the magnitude of spin cannot be changed but particles with ...
14
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4answers
7k views

What's is the origin of Orbital Angular Momentum of electrons in atoms?

Consider the Hydrogen 1s electron. We know that, in the quantum picture, the electron isn't orbiting or rotating at all, rather we simply state that the electron is spread over the entire space with ...
14
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1answer
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Why do we identify symmetric 2nd rank tensors with spin-2 particles in string theory?

I am going through Tong's lecture notes on String Theory and came across the following irrep decomposition (Chap 2, p.43) of the bosonic string first excited states: $$\text{traceless symmetric} \...
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7answers
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Does spin have anything to do with a rate of change?

The orbital angular momentum of a particle can be related to the revolution of that particle about some external axis. But in quantum mechanics, the spin angular momentum of a particle can't really ...