"Each such orbital can be occupied by a maximum of two electrons, each with its...

Jamarcus Schroeder

Jamarcus Schroeder

2022-08-29

"Each such orbital can be occupied by a maximum of two electrons, each with its own spin quantum numbers."
I though that all electrons had same spin quantum number s = 1 / 2, being the difference the z-component of the angular momentum, m s { 1 / 2 , 1 / 2 }.
I'm confusing the nomenclature ?

Answer & Explanation

Rijpv7

Rijpv7

Expert

2022-08-30Added 7 answers

Of course it would be nice if physicists were consistent in their wording, but I don't think this will ever happen. Therefore, my advice is that you don't try to concentrate too much on the definitions like "the spin quantum number is m s ", but instead try to understand the concept. Furthermore, this should be simple for you, because I believe that you already got it right:
- Electrons are spin 1 / 2 particles. This means that the magnitude of the spin is equal to 1 / 2.
- If a particle possesses the spin s, there are 2 s + 1 different quantisation configurations: m s = { s , s + 1 , , + s }. These configurations can visualise by assuming that the spin of the particle is only allowed to "point" in certain directions in space (w.r.t. the arbitrarily chosen quantisation axis). So, if s = 1 / 2, we get 2 1 / 2 + 1 = 2 configurations, m s = ± 1 / 2. If instead the spin is s = 3 / 2, we get 2 3 / 2 + 1 = 4 different configurations, m s = { 3 / 2 , 1 / 2 , + 1 / 2 , + 3 / 2 }.

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