0
$\begingroup$

I was reading about the Pauli exclusion principle and this question occured to me about the electron. It can be +1/2 or -1/2 spin. And usually atoms outside stars (where it is cool enough to attach electrons) seem to have their orbitals filled with enough electrons to appear neutral. So I assume there are similar number of electrons with +1/2 and -1/2 spin, and they are quite evenly mixed. Is this true/generally true? Is there no assymetry like in matter antimatter?

$\endgroup$
4
  • $\begingroup$ Electrons have two spin quantum numbers, $S=1/2$ and the second is the azimuthal/projection/magnetic quantum number with $s_m=\pm 1/2$ . The electron with spin $S=1/2, s_m=1/2$ is the same as that with $S=1/2, s_m=-1/2$ unless you put the electron (or other spin particle say a proton) in a magnetic field then the energy levels split and one rises and one falls in energy by an equal amount but now by Boltzmann distribution the numbers of $s_m=1/2$ is no longer equal to that with $-1/2$. This forms the basis of EPR spectroscopy and NMR with protons etc. $\endgroup$
    – porphyrin
    Nov 1, 2022 at 16:43
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Spin of electron as a particle is 1/2, no plus or minus. These signs are only to symbolise that these moments are opposite if two electrons "are in" one orbital. $\endgroup$
    – Mithoron
    Nov 1, 2022 at 16:48
  • $\begingroup$ You may want to check at physics SE for similar questions, in particular whether there are asymmetrical magnetic fields on a universal scale, and why not. $\endgroup$
    – Buck Thorn
    Nov 1, 2022 at 18:52
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ One of the weird things of quantum mechanics is that most properties do not have defined values except when they are measured. Thus most electrons have neither +1/2 or -1/2 spin but rather exist in a superposition of both until we measure them. $\endgroup$
    – Andrew
    Nov 1, 2022 at 20:52

0

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.