## Direction of the Spin Magnetic Quantum Number

Jasmine Wu 1L
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### Direction of the Spin Magnetic Quantum Number

It is my understanding that the spin magnetic quantum number, m_s, has a value of either 1/2 or -1/2. Which way does the electron spin if it has a m_s value of 1/2 and if it has a m_s value of -1/2?

Thanks!

Chris Pleman 3E
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### Re: Direction of the Spin Magnetic Quantum Number

Postive 1/2 has an upward spin/arrow, and negative 1/2 has a downward spin/arrow.

Jasmine Wu 1L
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### Re: Direction of the Spin Magnetic Quantum Number

What about the clockwise/counter-clockwise direction? Which direction do -1/2 and 1/2 belong to?

Chem_Mod
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### Re: Direction of the Spin Magnetic Quantum Number

The Ms values denoting the spin/direction of the electrons in an orbital are merely RELATIVE values to emphasize how electrons paired in the same orbitals must have opposite spin. If one electron has a spin in a given direction and is assigned a +1/2, the other must have a -1/2 spin and visa versa.

Magdalena Palavecino 1A
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### Re: Direction of the Spin Magnetic Quantum Number

So does this mean that the +/- signs are relative to each other? And also, when you draw a pair of electrons of a lone electron, do you by convention draw then up or does it not matter meaning you could draw them pointing down?

Michelle Steinberg2J
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### Re: Direction of the Spin Magnetic Quantum Number

On the most recent test there was a question that asked for all the possible values that a spin quantum number can take for a specific electron. How do you determine this? Is it always +/- 1/2?

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