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The spin of an elementary particle (electrons, protons, neutrons, pions, et al) is a basic characteristic.  It manifests itself in numerous ways, including the splitting of electron levels in atoms and nucleon energy levels in nuclei -- in accordance with the Pauli Exclusion Principle.  The fundamental question, however, is from where does the spin derive?  In the case of a proton or neutron (collectively a nucleon), the spin supplied by quarks accounts for only 20 to 30% of the total.  And the question of where the quarks derive their spin goes unanswered as well!  Jaffe [1] has also noted, for example, that,  “Much of the nucleon’s spin lies elsewhere.”  Furthermore, “The nucleon is a highly relativistic bound state of quarks and gluons.  It cannot, even in principle, be separated into its components.” Peterson [2] in answering the question, “Why do quantum particles exhibit the quality of spin at all?”, replies that in a fundamental sense, “we do not understand where it comes from or why it is there.”  

Berman [3] has suggested that spacetime has torsion -- in effect “Torsion is to spin as curvature of spacetime is to mass.”  Another plausible explanation is that the spin exists to prevent collapse of the particle’s charges.  In the Casimir Effect, efforts to understand why the like charge fragments of an electron did not result in the electron coming apart.  It was suggested Casimir’s electronic electron shell might be a magnetic or Meisner Field, the very structure of the electron that of a minute superconducting sphere of like charges,  and the electron depending upon its intrinsic spin in order to maintain it’s existence.  Finally, one might consider that the three dimensions of “spin-space” briefly alluded to in Superstrings is the Torsion Space that Berman [3] has introduced.  

In addition, the assumption that quantum fluctuations of quarks, gluons, of whatever, within the elementary particle might account for its spin, is a good example of staying in the box.  Why not have the spin of any elementary particle derive its spin virtually from every other like particle?  Effectively, a Mach’s Principle of Spin.  It is the next logical step in any manifestation of Connective Physics.


Mach’s Principle         EPR Experiment         Casimir Effect

Forward to:

Zero-Point Energy         Zero-Point Field         Superconductivity



[1]  Jaffe, R.L., “Where Does the Proton Really Get Its Spin?”, Physics Today, September, 1995, pg 24-30.

[2]  Peterson, I. “Proton-Go-Round; Whence does the proton get its spin?”, Science News, Vol. 152, September 6, 1997, pg 158-159.

[3]  M. S. Berman and R. M. Marinho, “Spacetime May Be Chief Source of Proton Spin,” Physics Today, September, 1996, pg 13-14.  



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