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How to understand spin?

  1. Jan 17, 2013 #1
    As far as we know, an electron cannot be decomposed into angular momentum of constituent parts. So how am I suppose to be thinking about what "spin" is?

    I've come across intrinsic angular momentum explanations, but I'm not really satisfied with that and am still a bit stumped.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 19, 2013 #2
    I don't think you are going to find a very satisfactory answer to this... Except for the label itself ("spin"), there is not really anything in common between a physical object spinning, and the spin number of a particle. It's just a tag identifying what a particle will communicate to other particles when it interacts. We try to work by metaphor where possible, but its a very unstable metaphor in most cases.

    Great question though... I've always wanted a good answer to this as well.
     
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