In quantum mechanics, the total angular momentum quantum number parameterises the total angular momentum of a given particle, by combining its orbital angular momentum and its intrinsic angular momentum (i.e., its spin).
If s is the particle's spin angular momentum and ℓ its orbital angular momentum vector, the total angular momentum j is
The associated quantum number is the main total angular momentum quantum number j. It can take the following range of values, jumping only in integer steps:
the vector's z-projection is given by
where mj is the secondary total angular momentum quantum number. It ranges from −j to +j in steps of one. This generates 2j + 1 different values of mj.
The total angular momentum corresponds to the Casimir invariant of the Lie algebra so(3) of the three-dimensional rotation group.
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