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Concept# Spin magnetic moment

Summary

In physics, mainly quantum mechanics and particle physics, a spin magnetic moment is the magnetic moment caused by the spin of elementary particles. For example, the electron is an elementary spin-1/2 fermion. Quantum electrodynamics gives the most accurate prediction of the anomalous magnetic moment of the electron.
In general, a magnetic moment can be defined in terms of an electric current and the area enclosed by the current loop. Since angular momentum corresponds to rotational motion, the magnetic moment can be related to the orbital angular momentum of the charge carriers in the constituting current. However, in magnetic materials, the atomic and molecular dipoles have magnetic moments not just because of their quantized orbital angular momentum, but also due to the spin of elementary particles constituting them.
"Spin" is a non-classical property of elementary particles, since classically the "spin angular momentum" of a material object is really just the total orbital angular momenta of the object's constituents about the rotation axis. Elementary particles are conceived as point objects with no axis around which to "spin" (see wave–particle duality).
The idea of a spin angular momentum was first proposed in a 1925 publication by George Uhlenbeck and Samuel Goudsmit to explain hyperfine splitting in atomic spectra. In 1928, Paul Dirac provided a rigorous theoretical foundation for the concept in the Dirac equation for the wavefunction of the electron.
Quantum chemistry
Spin magnetic moments create a basis for one of the most important principles in chemistry, the Pauli exclusion principle. This principle, first suggested by Wolfgang Pauli, governs most of modern-day chemistry. The theory plays further roles than just the explanations of doublets within electromagnetic spectrum. This additional quantum number, spin, became the basis for the modern standard model used today, which includes the use of Hund's rules, and an explanation of beta decay.

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