The Motion of the Spinning Electron

Article metrics


IN a letter published in NATURE of February 20, p. 264, Messrs. Uhlenbeck and Goudsmit have shown how great difficulties which atomic theory had met in the attempt to explain spectral structure and Zeeman effects, can be avoided by using the idea of the spinning electron. Although their theory is in complete qualitative agreement with observation, it involved an apparent quantitative discrepancy. The value of the precession of the spin axis in an external magnetic field required to account for Zeeman effects seemed to lead to doublet separations twice those which are observed. This discrepancy, however, disappears when the kinematical problem concerned is examined more closely from the point of view of the theory of relativity.

Access options

Rent or Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.


All prices are NET prices.

Author information

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

THOMAS, L. The Motion of the Spinning Electron. Nature 117, 514 (1926) doi:10.1038/117514a0

Download citation

Further reading


By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms and Community Guidelines. If you find something abusive or that does not comply with our terms or guidelines please flag it as inappropriate.