Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

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.
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook