|MadSci Network: Physics|
On the web page for the Rare-Earth Magnetics Association, it explains that "Each electron has magnetic moments that originate from two sources. The first is the orbital motion of the electron around the nucleus. In a sense this motion can be considered as a current loop, ..." I thought, "that's not right!" and searched the web for a better explaination. It seems that this paragraph is copied many times over the web, and any other explaination is hard to find. I read reciently that Einstein himself did an experiment to show that there is only one kind of magnetism, and reversing the polarity of a perminant magnet caused a torque. This was assumed to be orbital motions at the time, but later proved to be "spin", and this is where spin gets its name. I found a writeup on http://www.chem1.com/acad/webtut/atomic/qprimer/ that explains that electrons aren't actually orbiting, but still casually uses the term "orbital motion"! I need help getting to the bottom of this. So, does the not-really-moving quantum "orbital motion" of an electrons in fact cause current loops? If the lowest s shell doesn't have "orbital motion", what defines the electron's spin?
Re: Electron 'orbital motion' and role in magnetism
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