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Magnetic Quantum no ?

  1. Jan 30, 2008 #1
    If magnetic quantum no. is zero then component of angular momentum along magnetic field direction will be zero , what does it mean ? What can be said about the orientation of the electron orbit in this case ?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 30, 2008 #2


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    Look at the geometry of the s-orbital. What does it look like?

  4. Jan 30, 2008 #3


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    Suppose the magnetic field is along the z-direction (which is what we usually assume). If the z-component of a vector (any vector, not just the angular momentum vector) is zero, what are the possible directions of that vector? What characteristic do all those directions have in common?
  5. Jan 31, 2008 #4
    Ok, then we have the planar configuration for the referred vector. But one thing is m = 0 imply deterministically the Lz to be zero. Another thing is to have m = 0 as an implication of Lz to be ZERO in some statistical sense, i.e. in average. As in the first answer, the s orbital (spherical) has zero Lz, but just when done the average.

    Thus, if a quantum state has an associated eigenvalue m = 0, we may conclude that Lz aplied on this state yield eigenvalue zero, which has to do with spatially global feature of the state.

    In conclusion, I think that the picture of a planar vector must not correspond to quantum states with m = 0.

    Best wishes

    Last edited: Jan 31, 2008
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