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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Why are there no elementary charged, spin-zero particles?

In the spirit of a related inquiry, I would like to know if there's a basis for understanding why there aren't any elementary particles that have non-zero electric charge but zero spin? Can such a ...
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What are some useful ways to imagine the concept of spin as it relates to subatomic particles?

The answers in this question: What is spin as it relates to subatomic particles? do not address some particular questions regarding the concept of spin: How are some useful ways to imagine a ...
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Groups acting on physics - a clarification on electrons and spin

My first question is fairly basic, but I would like to clarify my understanding. The second question is to turn this into something worth answering. Consider a relativistic electron, described by a ...
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Do particles have different spins in different frames of reference?

Let's say we have two photons, whose momentum vectors point to opposite directions. Also spin angular momentum vectors of the photons point to opposite directions. (Sum of spins is zero) Now we ...
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Why does photon have only two possible eigenvalues of helicity? [duplicate]

Photon is a spin-1 particle. Were it massive, its spin projected along some direction would be either 1, -1, or 0. But photons can only be in an eigenstate of $S_z$ with eigenvalue $\pm 1$ (z as the ...
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What is the difference between the properties of Electron spin and Photon polarization/helicity?

What is the difference between a photon's polarization/helicity and an electrons spin half? I know that the photon is spin 1 but isn't its polarization analogous to spin half? This question stems ...
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Did the Feynman heuristic of “simple effects have simple causes” fail for spin statistics?

Someone here recently noted that "The spin-statistics thing isn't a problem, it is a theorem (a demonstrably valid proposition), and it shouldn't be addressed, it should be understood and celebrated." ...
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How do we know a quantum state isn't just an unknown classical state?

When an observer causes the wave function of a particle to collapse, how can we know that the wave function was not collapsed already before the measurement? Suppose we measure the z-component of the ...
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Singlet and Triplet states: Why is the $S=0$ state defined as it is?

I'm working on some exercise regarding the spin coupling of two electrons. There we have the wavefunctions corresponding to the S values as $$\begin{align} S = 1: &\begin{array}{c}\uparrow\...
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Can spin-1/2 emerge as a property of quasiparticles if original description of the system was without spin?

When we consider a band structure of some crystal, we can get a model of particle-antiparticle system like electrons and holes. In graphene, for instance, we even get a model of massless Dirac ...
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Why do spin-$\frac{1}{2}$ nuclei have zero electric quadrupole moment?

Why do spin-$\frac{1}{2}$ nuclei have zero electric quadrupole moment? How does this come about, and how can one tell in general whether a spin-$j$ nucleus can have a nonzero quadrupole (or higher ...
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Stabilizer formalism for symmetric spin-states?

This question developed out of conversation between myself and Joe Fitzsimons. Is there a succinct stabilizer representation for symmetric states, on systems of n spin-1/2 or (more generally) n higher ...
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Does the spin of a particle change if observed from an accelerating reference frame?

If we consider a spin-$\frac12$ particle at rest in the absence of any potentials, we can use the Pauli spin operators and an associated basis to describe the observable. Let's arbitrarily choose the ...
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What is polarisation, spin, helicity, chirality and parity?

Polarisation, spin, helicity, chirality and parity keep confusing me. They seem to be related, but exactly how they are related is unclear to me. Can someone maybe give a short overview about what ...
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Why don't all electrons contribute to total orbital angular momentum of an atom?

There are 47 electrons in a Silver atom, but talking about its orbital angular momentum we only take the outermost valence electron which occupies the 5s orbital. Why don't the remaining inner 46 ...
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Why don't we construct a spin 1/4 spinor?

I am learning quantum field theory. I understand that the solution of Dirac equation has four states and each corresponds to a spinor. These four states are exactly the eigenstates of the spin ...
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Why do many people say vector fields describe spin-1 particle but omit the spin-0 part?

We know a vector field is a $(\frac{1}{2},\frac{1}{2})$ representation of Lorentz group, which should describe both spin-1 and spin-0 particles. However many of the articles(mostly lecture notes) I've ...
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Can spin and macroscopic angular momentum convert to each other?

Suppose an isolated system with a number of particles with parallel spins. Can the macroscopic angular momentum of the system increase at expense of the number of particles having parallel spins (that ...
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Trajectories of particles with spin in Einstein-Cartan theory

The Einstein-Cartan theory is a generalisation of General Relativity insofar as the condition that the metric affine connection is torsion-free is dropped. In other words, the space time is a ...
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Why do galaxies and water going down a plug hole spin?

We all experience things spinning, whether it's water down a drain, the earth on its axis, planets round the sun, or stars in a galaxy - even electrons round an atom. But why is spin so common in ...
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How can we measure chirality in experiments?

Chirality is a concept quite different from helicity. These two concepts only happen to have the same numerical value for massless particles. I understand that we can measure helicity, but how can we ...
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What do the four components of Dirac Spinors represent in the Standard Model?

I've been trying to get my head around the formalisms used in the Standard Model. From what i've gathered Dirac Spinors are 4 component objects designed to be operated on by Lorentz Transformations ...
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Gauge symmetries and elementary particles

The Weinberg-Witten theorem (disclaimer: I don't know this wikipedia entry) is usually mentioned as the reason why gravitons may not be composite particles. I do understand the proof of the theorem, ...
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How can they prove the superposition of particle states prior to measurement?

If every time a particle's spin or momentum is measured, it gives a discrete answer (collapse of possibility states), how can they ever prove that prior to measurement it was in fact in a super-...
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Why does the Stern–Gerlach quantum spin experiment conflict with classical mechanics?

My understanding of the Stern–Gerlach experiment is that neutral (0 total charge) particles are sent through a non-homogeneous magnetic field, with the expectation that the field will push that ...
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Why does spin arise in non-relativistic quantum mechanics?

In my study of quantum mechanics thus far, I have not yet encountered the Dirac equation, but to the best of my knowledge, the Dirac equation is the first place where you can show mathematically that ...
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Why there are no $uuu$ and $ddd$ baryons with spin 1/2?

What is preventing $Δ^{++}$ and $Δ^-$ spin 3/2 baryons from going to a lower-energy state with spin 1/2 similar to that of protons and neutrons? I don't think the Pauli exclusion principle can ...
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When we say electron spin is 1/2, what exactly does it mean, 1/2 of what?

When we say electron has spin of $\frac{1}{2}$, is that the value of the total spin of electron, or the projection on z axis, or the spin quantum number? When we say "electron has spin of $\frac{1}{2}...
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Meaning of spin

I'm pretty astounded that I did not hear about this sooner, but in my course on QFT our professor told us that the concept of spin can be used to mean three things: Mechanical spin (apparently a ...
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Why can we approximate massive particles as massless or vice versa?

Our descriptions of massless and massive particles are very different. For example: Massless particles have only two polarizations, which we call helicities. Spin projection on axes different than ...
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Does the lagrangian contain all the information about the representations of the fields in QFT?

Given the Lagrangian density of a theory, are the representations on which the various fields transform uniquely determined? For example, given the Lagrangian for a real scalar field $$ \mathscr{L} = ...
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Sequential Stern-Gerlach devices - realizable experiment or teaching aid?

At least one textbook [1] uses sequential Stern-Gerlach devices to introduce to students that the components of angular momentum are incompatible observables. Viz., the $z$-up beam from a SG device ...
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How do you rotate spin of an electron?

I can't seem to connect these two stories. Can you please help? I have heard that you have to turn electron by 720 degrees in order to get the same spin state. Has this been seen experimentally? How ...
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How do you go about guessing the ground-state spin and parity of a nucleus?

How do you go about guessing the ground-state spin and parity of a nucleus? Questions of this form seem to be asked frequently here, e.g., for 19F, 23Na, and 87Rb and 40K.
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How do you find spin of a particle from experimental data?

So I was wondering, with all this Higgs talk going on, they just detected a particle with a mass of 125 GeV (CMS) or 126.5 GeV (ATLAS). But they still don't know what it is, since there is tons of ...
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Does the $\bf{1+3}$ representation of $SU(2)$ also represent $SU(2)\times SU(2)$?

I'm a bit confused about this following issue concerning representations of $SU(2)$. Denote by 1 the 1-dimensional representation of the group $SU(2)$ (=the spin 0). Similarly, denote by 2 and 3 the ...
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Does a magnetic field arise from a moving charge or from its spin, or both?

I learned that a moving charge creates a magnetic field perpendicular to its direction of motion. I also learned that charged particles like electrons have spin and they also create a magnetic field ...
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How do point particles transfer angular momentum between each other?

I know that quantum physics says that one can't change the magnitude of spin of a point particle but that still leaves the question of how one changes the direction of spin. One possible way point ...
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Is the third spin vector of a photon always suppressed?

I like to tell people interested in light polarization that the photon is a vector boson for which the third spin axis, the one in the direction of travel, is suppressed due to photons being massless ...
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Addition of Angular Momementa in deeply bound situations, proton spin crisis

In Landau and Lipshitz's introductory book on Quanum Mechanics, "Quantum Mechanics Non-Relativistic Theory, Third Edition: Volume 3", chapter XIV (page 433 in the edition on Amazon) is "Addition of ...
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Why spin should influence the geometry of the space-time?

I have been studying the inclusion of (intrinsic) spin of particles in a geometrical theory of gravity. I understand how that can be done using the Einstein-Cartan theory and how spin is related with ...
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Spin state after boost

I am working through Weinberg's QFT book, and in problem 1 in chapter 2 I ran into copious amounts of algebra, so I am trying to "cheat" a little by using some assumptions, but am unsure of their ...
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Selection rule $\Delta S=0$: Why does a photon not interact with an electrons spin?

When talking about selection rules in atomic physics, many books state that the photon interacts with the electrons angular momentum such that that $\Delta l=\pm 1$. Absorbed/emitted photons exchange ...
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Representations of Lorentz Group

I'd be grateful if someone could check that my exposition here is correct, and then venture an answer to the question at the end! $SO(3)$ has a fundamental representation (spin-1), and tensor product ...
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Is there record of a bosonic Stern-Gerlach measurement?

I cannot seem to find any peer-reviewed (or other) reference to an integer-spin Stern-Gerlach experiment. It shouldn't be too hard to do: just find you friendly neighbourhood Deuterium ion and shoot ...
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The asymptotic behavior of the propagator of a field

In Steven Weinberg's book "The Quantum Theory of Fields" vol. I, Section 12.1, page 500, he writes: We will write the asymptotic behaviour of the propagator $\Delta_f(k)$ of a field of type $f$ in ...
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The spin-orbit interaction for a classical magnetic dipole moving in an electric field

Spin-orbit coupling is one component of the fine structure of atoms, which is explicitly concerned with the interaction of the electrons' spin with their orbital angular momentum. It can be explicitly ...
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Angular Momentum of the Dirac field

I'm going through the Peskin & Shroeder's discussion on the Dirac field, and I am struggling with a couple of claims they make about angular momentum. First of all, the angular momentum operator ...
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Which way do black hole jets spin?

The centers of black holes and quasars often have jets coming out the two poles of an accretion disk, say north and south. Is it known if the two jets spin in the same direction or opposite ...
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Do EM waves transmit spin polarization?

Suppose you have a normal dipole antennae (transmitter and receiver) . Spin polarized current (as opposed to normal current) is sent into the transmitter, it emits an EM wave and the Receiver receives ...

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