Spin Magnetic Quantum #

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Selena Yu 1H
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Spin Magnetic Quantum #

Postby Selena Yu 1H » Fri Oct 18, 2019 2:24 am

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
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Re: Spin Magnetic Quantum #

Postby Deepika Reddy 1A » Fri Oct 18, 2019 9:29 am

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
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Re: Spin Magnetic Quantum #

Postby Rohit Ghosh 4F » Tue Oct 22, 2019 12:10 pm

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
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Re: Spin Magnetic Quantum #

Postby Robert Tran 1B » Tue Oct 22, 2019 1:32 pm

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
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Re: Spin Magnetic Quantum #

Postby Kallista McCarty 1C » Tue Oct 22, 2019 3:22 pm

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!

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Re: Spin Magnetic Quantum #

Postby KDang_1D » Thu Oct 24, 2019 3:45 pm

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
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Re: Spin Magnetic Quantum #

Postby Ethan Low 1L » Sun Nov 03, 2019 11:59 pm

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.

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