Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Humorous Aside: Intrinsic angular momentum

Quantum theory has some unusual ideas. A particularly unusual one is that a subatomic particle has an intrinsic angular momentum. The idea is as such:

any given sub atomic particle is spinning
however, the amount that particle is spinning never changes


It seems to me a strange concept that a sub atomic particle could not have its amount of spin changed via a simple interaction with other particles or some other circumstance.

When thinking of the funny nature of some quantum conclusions (like that a particle has an intrinsic never changing spin), I thought of Prof. Shwartzman here from the Far Side:

Hmmmm ... funny joke but I wonder if Prof. Schwartzman needs to fine tune his invention - while 'hey' is surely my dog's most prominent word, I'm sure he says the odd other thing as well. Similarly, I wonder if we merely need better methods for determining the angular momentum of a given sub-atomic particle.