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Angular momentum of a relativistic wave packet

Strange, Paul (2017) Angular momentum of a relativistic wave packet. Physical Review A: Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics, 96 (5). Article Number 052103. ISSN 1050-2947. E-ISSN 1094-1622. (doi:10.1103/PhysRevA.96.052103) (KAR id:64298)


Quantum-mechanical spin is often thought of in terms of classical angular momentum. In fact spin is defined by its commutation relations and the spin and orbital angular momentum operators are very different. Here we solve the Dirac equation in a rotating frame of reference and create a localized wave packet from the resulting wave functions to examine the consequences of the rotational motion. We highlight some unexpected effects in the properties of the wave packet and show that the spin operator and orbital angular momentum operator describe different aspects of the rotational properties of the wave packet. It is also observed that neither quantum-mechanical spin nor orbital angular momentum can be fully understood within an inertial frame.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1103/PhysRevA.96.052103
Uncontrolled keywords: Physics of Quantum Materials, relativistic quantum mechanics, spin, angular momentum
Subjects: Q Science > QC Physics > QC174.12 Quantum theory
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Natural Sciences > Physics and Astronomy
Depositing User: Paul Strange
Date Deposited: 07 Nov 2017 14:42 UTC
Last Modified: 09 Dec 2022 06:33 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

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