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Spinning Electrons and the Structure of Spectra


So far as we know, the idea of a quantised spinning of the electron was put forward for the first time by A. K. Compton (Journ. Frankl. Inst., Aug. 1921, p. 145), who pointed out the possible bearing of this idea on the origin of the natural unit of magnetism. Without being aware of Compton's suggestion, we have directed attention in a recent note (Naturwissenschaften, Nov. 20, 1925) to the possibility of applying the spinning electron to interpret a number of features of the quantum theory of the Zeeman effect, which were brought to light by the work especially of van Lohuizen, Sommerfeld, Landé and Pauli, and also of the analysis of complex spectra in general. In this letter we shall try to show how our hypothesis enables us to overcome certain fundamental difficulties which have hitherto hindered the interpretation of the results arrived at by those authors.

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UHLENBECK, G., GOUDSMIT, S. Spinning Electrons and the Structure of Spectra. Nature 117, 264–265 (1926).

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