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What are Quantum Numbers

  1. Nov 16, 2012 #1
    I have read many sources about quantum numbers and I know they have to do with the spin or types of particles in a hadron or boson, but I do not understand how spin could calculated or what it means. There was also something that had symbols that were like, p2, k4, f3...
    I just don't understand this and wikipedia isn't helping
    Would love to learn more,
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 16, 2012 #2


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    hi dbmorpher! :smile:

    quantum spin doesn't realy have an exact analogue to classical spin

    however, i personally like to think of the quantum numbers as being like the possible vibrations of a sphere (like the sun) …

    it can pulse in and out spherically

    or it can squeeze in and out like a concertina

    or …​

    each possible mode of vibration corresponds to a spherical harmonic which in turn corresponds to quantum numbers

    so i personally think of different but related particles as being the same particle vibrating in different ways o:)
    those letters and numbers are just there to confuse you :biggrin:

    here's a pretty diagram from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spherical_harmonics

    (and for what it's worth, here's an unhelpfully detailed description of mine … https://www.physicsforums.com/showpost.php?p=4002275&postcount=5)
  4. Nov 16, 2012 #3
    Okay thank you
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