Why does the electron have a magnetic moment?

  • Thread starter carllacan
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  • #1
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Hi.

I thought magnetic moment arose from closed loops of charge currents. How does then the angular momentum of the electron produce a magnetic moment? I mean, the electron is not a loop.

Am I wrong in my initial assumption or am I understanding things too "classically"?

Thanks.
 

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  • #2
Meir Achuz
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You are thinking too classically. The electron's magnetic moment arises from the relativistic QM Dirac equation for the electron.
 
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  • #3
dextercioby
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You don't need Dirac's equation to derive the magnetic moment of the electron. Pauli's nonrelativistic equation will suffice.
 
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  • #4
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I see. Then saying that the magnetic moment arises from its rotation and its charge is just oversimplifying things, right?
 
  • #5
Meir Achuz
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Right. Pauli's equation can include the moment, but does not derive it as a necessity.
 
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dextercioby
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Pauli's equation always includes the magnetic moment, because it automatically includes the spin.
 

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