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Spin of an elementary particle

  1. Mar 8, 2010 #1
    Two basic questions here, thanks and good karma to whoever helps. my questions are:

    The spin of an elementary particle, is it really the physical rotation of a particle on its axis?


    Can I imagine that an elementary particle looks like a three dimensional wave packet laying/distorting the assumed higgs field?
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 8, 2010 #2


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    Re: Spin!?

    1) no, spin is sort of an intrinsic angular momentum; however, it cannot be modeled as a particle actually spinning. As far as we know, particles are points and therefore can't really spin.

    2) I have no idea.
  4. Mar 8, 2010 #3
    Re: Spin!?

    2) no
  5. Mar 8, 2010 #4
    Re: Spin!?

    Spin: i agree it is always confusing..It is not the rotation or spinning..
    For e.g., there is only two kinds of spin for a electron 1/2 or -1/2.
    It is better if you think of Pauli matrices..
  6. Mar 10, 2010 #5
    Re: Spin!?

    So okay, this intrinsic Angular Momentum.. is it expressed by the literal "spin" particles create after they collide?

    So far I understand that particles are "born" with this property of spin. Pauli Matrices I do not yet understand. I've wiki'd spin but would just like the layman's version please.
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