Is the angular momentum of an electron conserved in a uniform magnetic field?

Greenshields, C. R., Stamps, R. L. , Franke-Arnold, S. and Barnett, S. (2014) Is the angular momentum of an electron conserved in a uniform magnetic field? Physical Review Letters, 113(24), p. 240404. (doi:10.1103/PhysRevLett.113.240404)

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We show that an electron moving in a uniform magnetic field possesses a time-varying ``diamagnetic'' angular momentum. Surprisingly this means that the kinetic angular momentum of the electron may vary with time, despite the rotational symmetry of the system. This apparent violation of angular momentum conservation is resolved by including the angular momentum of the surrounding fields.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Stamps, Professor Robert and Franke-Arnold, Professor Sonja and Barnett, Professor Stephen and Greenshields, Mr Colin
Authors: Greenshields, C. R., Stamps, R. L., Franke-Arnold, S., and Barnett, S.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Physics and Astronomy
Journal Name:Physical Review Letters
Publisher:American Physical Society
ISSN (Online):1079-7114
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2014 The Authors
First Published:First published in Physical Review Letters 113(24)240404
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
549871Challenges in Orbital Angular MomentumMiles PadgettEngineering & Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)EP/I012451/1P&A - PHYSICS & ASTRONOMY
629961Artificial spin ice: designer matter far from equilibriumRobert StampsEngineering & Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)EP/L002922/1S&E P&A - PHYSICS & ASTRONOMY