Share Email Print

Proceedings Paper

Origin of the spin-orbit interaction (Presentation Recording)
Author(s): Gianfranco Spavieri; Masud Mansuripur

Paper Abstract

We consider a semi-classical model to describe the origin of the spin-orbit interaction in a simple system such as the hydrogen atom. The interaction energy U is calculated in the rest-frame of the nucleus, around which an electron, having linear velocity v and magnetic dipole-moment μ, travels in a circular orbit. The interaction energy U is due to the coupling of the induced electric dipole p=(v/c)×μ with the electric field En of the nucleus. According to quantum mechanics, the radius of the electron’s orbit remains constant during a spin-flip transition. Under such circumstances, our model predicts that the energy of the system changes by ΔE=1/2U, the factor 1/2 emerging naturally as a consequence of equilibrium and the change of the kinetic energy of the electron. The correct 1/2 factor for the spin-orbit coupling energy is thus derived without the need to introduce the well-known Thomas precession in the rest-frame of the electron.

Paper Details

Date Published: 5 October 2015
PDF: 1 pages
Proc. SPIE 9551, Spintronics VIII, 95510P (5 October 2015); doi: 10.1117/12.2187490
Show Author Affiliations
Gianfranco Spavieri, Univ. de los Andes (Venezuela)
Masud Mansuripur, College of Optical Sciences, The Univ. of Arizona (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 9551:
Spintronics VIII
Henri-Jean Drouhin; Jean-Eric Wegrowe; Manijeh Razeghi, Editor(s)

© SPIE. Terms of Use
Back to Top