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Concept# Angular momentum operator

Summary

In quantum mechanics, the angular momentum operator is one of several related operators analogous to classical angular momentum. The angular momentum operator plays a central role in the theory of atomic and molecular physics and other quantum problems involving rotational symmetry. Such an operator is applied to a mathematical representation of the physical state of a system and yields an angular momentum value if the state has a definite value for it. In both classical and quantum mechanical systems, angular momentum (together with linear momentum and energy) is one of the three fundamental properties of motion.
There are several angular momentum operators: total angular momentum (usually denoted J), orbital angular momentum (usually denoted L), and spin angular momentum (spin for short, usually denoted S). The term angular momentum operator can (confusingly) refer to either the total or the orbital angular momentum. Total angular momentum is always conserved, see Noether's theorem

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Donat Fabian Natterer, Yue Zhao

The phase of a quantum state may not return to its original value after the system's parameters cycle around a closed path; instead, the wave function may acquire a measurable phase difference called the Berry phase. Berry phases typically have been accessed through interference experiments. Here, we demonstrate an unusual Berry phase-induced spectroscopic feature: a sudden and large increase in the energy of angular-momentum states in circular graphene p-n junction resonators when a relatively small critical magnetic field is reached. This behavior results from turning on a p Berry phase associated with the topological properties of Dirac fermions in graphene. The Berry phase can be switched on and off with small magnetic field changes on the order of 10 millitesla, potentially enabling a variety of optoelectronic graphene device applications.

The balance of pseudomomentum is discussed and applied to simple elasticity, ideal fluids, and the mechanics of inextensible rods and sheets. A general framework is presented in which the simultaneous variation of an action with respect to position, time, and material labels yields bulk balance laws and jump conditions for momentum, energy, and pseudomomentum. The example of simple elasticity of space-filling solids is treated at length. The pseudomomentum balance in ideal fluids is shown to imply conservation of vorticity, circulation, and helicity, and a mathematical similarity is noted between the evaluation of circulation along a material loop and the J-integral of fracture mechanics. Integration of the pseudomomentum balance, making use of a prescription for singular sources derived by analogy with the continuous form of the balance, directly provides the propulsive force driving passive reconfiguration or locomotion of confined, inhomogeneous elastic rods. The conserved angular momentum and pseudomomentum are identified in the classification of conical sheets with rotational inertia or bending energy.

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