## Spin Magnetic Quantum #

Selena Yu 1H
Posts: 108
Joined: Fri Aug 09, 2019 12:16 am
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### Spin Magnetic Quantum #

Why is the spin magnetic quantum number only either +1/2 or -1/2? Was this found through experiments? Is it possible for it to be any other number?

Deepika Reddy 1A
Posts: 125
Joined: Thu Jul 11, 2019 12:15 am

### Re: Spin Magnetic Quantum #

The spin quantum number is just used to differentiate between the two electrons in an orbital and it is needed to completely describe an electron state. One of the electrons in an orbital is facing up and the other is facing down. The spin quantum number just tells us which is which and makes it so that no electron in an atom has the same four quantum numbers as any other electron in the atom. The positive 1/2 is used for upward spin electrons and the downward facing spin is negative 1/2.

Rohit Ghosh 4F
Posts: 99
Joined: Thu Jul 25, 2019 12:17 am

### Re: Spin Magnetic Quantum #

While we can say that an electron spins "up" or "down," that is actually arbitrary. In reality, electron spin is more complicated than just spinning in one direction or another.

Robert Tran 1B
Posts: 118
Joined: Thu Jul 11, 2019 12:15 am

### Re: Spin Magnetic Quantum #

There are only two possibilities for the spin direction of an atom: upwards and downwards. Because of this, there are also only two possible spin magnetic quantum numbers. I believe the numbers +1/2 and -1/2 were chosen somewhat arbitrarily.

Kallista McCarty 1C
Posts: 212
Joined: Wed Sep 18, 2019 12:18 am

### Re: Spin Magnetic Quantum #

The spin number can only be +1/2 or -1/2. Lavelle didn't go into much detail into explaining the experiments and the way in which this was determined because it does not pertain to our class. All that we need to know is that +1/2 is spinning up while -1/2 is spinning down!

KDang_1D
Posts: 127
Joined: Fri Aug 30, 2019 12:15 am
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### Re: Spin Magnetic Quantum #

Yes, the concept of electron spin was discovered through the Stern Gerlach experiment. They fired silver atoms, which have 1 valence electron, through a pair of magnetized plates. The interaction between the local magnetic fields of the individual electrons and the plates' magnetic field caused the Ag atoms to land on the detector in two distinct regions. This lead to the conclusion that electrons have 2 spin states, +1/2 and -1/2. The choice of the 1/2 value could be arbitrary like l=0, 1, 2,3, etc. and ml=0, +/-1, +/-2, etc., but I'm not sure.

Ethan Low 1L
Posts: 24
Joined: Wed Sep 18, 2019 12:15 am

### Re: Spin Magnetic Quantum #

Yeah the number can only be -1/2 or +1 and at the review session they mentioned that its important to include the positive/ negative sign to signify direction of spin.