Electron Spin

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Maya_Peterson1C
Posts: 62
Joined: Fri Sep 28, 2018 12:28 am

Electron Spin

Postby Maya_Peterson1C » Sun Oct 21, 2018 9:07 pm

I know the electron spin, or ms quantum number, is used because every electron had their own unique set of quantum numbers, but why is it +1/2 and -1/2? Was the value of 1/2 arbitrary?

Sydney Aurelio_Dis4B
Posts: 30
Joined: Fri Sep 28, 2018 12:28 am

Re: Electron Spin

Postby Sydney Aurelio_Dis4B » Sun Oct 21, 2018 9:15 pm

The +1/2 indicates an atom with one type of electron spin and the -1/2 indicates atoms with another type of electron spin. And they signify a direction of the spin (either spin up or spin down).

Laura Gong 3H
Posts: 89
Joined: Fri Sep 28, 2018 12:26 am
Been upvoted: 1 time

Re: Electron Spin

Postby Laura Gong 3H » Mon Oct 22, 2018 2:14 pm

+1/2 represents spin up and -1/2 represents spin down of the electrons. The numbers basically distinguish how the electron is spinning.

JiangJC Dis2K
Posts: 72
Joined: Fri Oct 12, 2018 12:16 am

Re: Electron Spin

Postby JiangJC Dis2K » Mon Oct 22, 2018 9:13 pm

I was really confused on the Ms number number when I learned it in high school but I feel like Lavelle explained it really well. If you draw out the orbitals it makes a lot more sense. For example if n=2 and l=1 then you know this is the 2p orbital. p has three ml levels or three subshells (room for 6 electrons such as if it were 2p6). If the given were 2p2 then you would fill the boxes using Pauli and Hunds' rules to see if the electron that is particularly being asked about points up or down-up being +1/2 and down being -1/2. Hope that helps!


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