Problem: Electron spin. The electron behaves as if it were spinning about an axis, thereby generating a magnetic field whose direction depends on the direction of spin. The two directions for the magnetic field correspond to the two possible values for the spin quantum number, ms.From this figure, why are there only two possible values for the spin quantum number?

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Based on the given figure, we're asked to explain why are there only two possible values for the spin quantum number, ms.


Recall that the spin quantum number determines the direction of the electron spin.


From the figure, we can see that there are only two possible directions of the spin for each magnetic field: 

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Problem Details

Diagrams show that an electron spinning clockwise has N above and S below, while an electron spinning counterclockwise has S above and N below.

Electron spin. The electron behaves as if it were spinning about an axis, thereby generating a magnetic field whose direction depends on the direction of spin. The two directions for the magnetic field correspond to the two possible values for the spin quantum number, ms.

From this figure, why are there only two possible values for the spin quantum number?