The television physics professor Sean Carroll is very good at explaining electron spin: either the electron spins clockwise or anti clockwise. In the past I often got annoyed by such ‘explanations’ because it shows shallow thinking and a complete rufusal to even try to understand electron spin.
At present day I can only laugh about it: If overpaid people like that want electron spin to be such stupid stuff, may be it is better to say it is your cake so why not eat it? If you leave all those shallow puddles of thinking a more or less normal person would like to know what experiments are there that actually prove or strongly suggest that electrons are indeed magnetic dipoles? If you try to find out about such heroic and historical experiments, it is once more a bit hollow and disappointing: Never ever as far as I know was there a physics experiment trying to actually prove the electron is a magnetic dipole…
So let us do a little thought experiment where the electron spin is ‘Sean Carroll style’ caused by the classical electron spinning around some axis, Here we go:
Suppose a pair of particles is created, say an electron and a positron.
Suppose total spin must be zero, say the electron is spin up and the positron is spin down.
If the electron spins clockwise, the positron should also spin clockwise otherwise total spin ‘Sean Carroll style’ would not be zero. After all the positron has a positive electric charge so it has to spin around some mysterious axis in the same way as the electron otherwise total spin ‘Sean Carroll style’ would not be zero.
But ha ha ha: That would violate the classical law of conservation of angular momentum because both the electron & the positron must rotate around some weird axis in the same way.
Conclusion once more: It is not possible for the electron to be a magnetic dipole. End of the simple thought experiment.
A rather recent video from our deep thinker Sean Carroll was out via the UK Royal Institution, it is not science but it has a high entertainment quality in it. Therefore if you like good but shallow entertainment, go to people like the television physics professor Sean Carroll:
The video from the Royal Society is highly hilarious, Sean is complaining about the fact that most physics professors have stopped to try understand quantum physics. That is funny because of course if you use words like ‘spin’ to describe the magnetic properties of something like an electron, how can you be not confused? And I have the same problem in my little unworthy life: the math professors have given up a long time ago about finding the 3D complex numbers. That must have been about a century ago when they were not capable of understanding it is all about prime numbers and 3 is a different prime number from 2.
I stole a sceen shot from the video, Sean used the grapes as ‘understanding quatum mechancis’ where I use it as ‘3D complex numbers’.
Let me end this post with the same thought experiment as above: the creation of an electron positron pair. Only now it is ‘my style’ and not some stupid ‘turning around some axis style’.
Suppose an electron positron pair is created, total electric charge must be zero. Hence the positron has positive electric charge.
The magnetic charges should also be zero, hence one of the created particles will have a north magnetic charge while the other will have a south magnetic charge.
In my view that is all there is. End of this post.