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

The cycle of life? Fractal orbits and spin.

  1. Apr 2, 2006 #1
    Greetings,

    A thought occurs about a (possibly) fundamental pattern in nature.
    Why are there several scales of magnitude in which a smaller body spins, while orbitting a larger body?

    Examples.
    1) A galaxy like the Milky Way has an orbital momentum around the core of its Local Cluster, the Milky Ways also has an intrinsic spin.

    2) A star has an orbital momentum around the core of our Milky Way, the star also has an intrinsic spin.

    3) A planet has an orbital momentum around the Star, the planet also has an intrinsic spin.

    ---jump to microscopic scales---

    4) An electron has an orbital momentum around a nucleus, the electron also has an intrinisc spin.

    5) A xxxx particle has an orbital momentum around an electron, the xxxx particle also has an intrinsic spin?


    This seems like a pattern to me, albeit not hard science by any means. Yet its quite interesting to see this fractal pattern present in the largest and smallest of scales discovered by humankind. As far as I know, only 2) 3) & 4) are fact, but I believe 1) is true too (is it?).

    If anyone can think of an example that precedes 1) or succedes 4), I'd be very curious to know. Thanks.:!!)
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 2, 2006 #2
    Problem with 4)
    Bound electrons DO have an orbital angular momentum "around" a nucleus, but their motion is nothing at all like a Classical (that is to say Earth-like) orbit. A trajectory of the kind you are thinking of would invalidate the Uncertainty Principle. Also, whereas spin is an angular momentum, it has nothing at all to do with the concept of a particle spinning on an axis. In both cases there are parallels in concept, but no literal truth to the statements.

    -Dan
     
  4. Apr 2, 2006 #3
    Misconception here - a galaxy does not have 'intrinsic' spin like a quantum mechanical particle; you can derive its angular momentum from the motion of each of its component stars. You can not track anything moving in a circular path in an electron (this would violate HUP); its spin angular momentum is thus 'intrinsic'.
     
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?



Similar Discussions: The cycle of life? Fractal orbits and spin.
  1. Fractal or ? (Replies: 2)

  2. Spin-orbit interaction (Replies: 4)

Loading...