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g-factor (physics)
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
For the acceleration-related quantity in mechanics, see g-force.
A g-factor (also called g value or dimensionless magnetic moment) is a
dimensionless quantity which characterizes the magnetic moment and
gyromagnetic ratio of a particle or nucleus. It is essentially a proportionality
constant that relates the observed magnetic moment of a particle to the
appropriate angular momentum quantum number and the appropriate
fundamental quantum unit of magnetism, usually the Bohr magneton or
nuclear magneton.

Contents [hide]
1 Calculation
1.1 Electron g-factors
1.1.1 Electron spin g-factor
1.1.2 Electron orbital g-factor
1.1.3 Total angular momentum (Land) g-factor
1.2 Nucleon and nucleus g-factors
1.3 Muon g-factor
2 Measured g-factor values
3 Notes and references
4 See also
Calculation[edit]
Electron g-factors[edit]
There are three magnetic moments associated with an electron: One from its
spin angular momentum, one from its orbital angular momentum, and one
from its total angular momentum (the quantum-mechanical sum of those two
components). Corresponding to these three moments are three different gfactors:

Electron spin g-factor[edit]


The most famous of these is the electron spin g-factor (more often called
simply the electron g-factor), ge, defined by

\boldsymbol{\mu}_S = \frac{g_e\mu_\mathrm{B}}{\hbar}\boldsymbol{S}
where S is the total magnetic moment resulting from the spin of an electron,
S is its spin angular momentum, and B is the Bohr magneton. In atomic
physics, the electron spin g-factor is often defined as the absolute value or
negative of ge:

g_S = |g_e| = -g_e.


The z-component of the magnetic moment then becomes

\mu_z=-g_S \mu_\mathrm{B} m_s


The value gS is roughly equal to 2.002319, and is known to extraordinary
precision.[1][2] The reason it is not precisely two is explained by quantum
electrodynamics calculation of the anomalous magnetic dipole moment.[3]

Electron orbital g-factor[edit]


Secondly, the electron orbital g-factor, gL, is defined by

\boldsymbol{\mu}_L = -\frac{g_L \mu_\mathrm{B}}{\hbar}\boldsymbol{L}


where L is the total magnetic moment resulting from the orbital angular
momentum of an electron, L is the magnitude of its orbital angular
momentum, and B is the Bohr magneton. The value of gL is exactly equal to
one, by a quantum-mechanical argument analogous to the derivation of the
classical magnetogyric ratio. For an electron in an orbital with a magnetic
quantum number ml, the z-component of the orbital angular momentum is

\mu_z=g_L \mu_\mathrm{B} m_l

which, since gL = 1, is just Bml

Total angular momentum (Land) g-factor[edit]


Thirdly, the Land g-factor, gJ, is defined by

\boldsymbol{\mu} = -\frac{g_J \mu_\mathrm{B} }{\hbar}\boldsymbol{J}


where is the total magnetic moment resulting from both spin and orbital
angular momentum of an electron, J = L+S is its total angular momentum,
and B is the Bohr magneton. The value of gJ is related to gL and gS by a
quantum-mechanical argument; see the article Land g-factor.

Nucleon and nucleus g-factors[edit]


Protons, neutrons, and many nuclei have spin and magnetic moments, and
therefore associated g-factors. The formula conventionally used is

\boldsymbol{\mu} = \frac{g \mu_\mathrm{N}}{\hbar}\boldsymbol{I}


where is the magnetic moment resulting from the nuclear spin, I is the
nuclear spin angular momentum, N is the nuclear magneton, and g is the
effective g-factor.

Muon g-factor[edit]

If supersymmetry is realized in nature, there will be corrections to g-2 of the


muon due to loop diagrams involving the new particles. Amongst the leading
corrections are those depicted here: a neutralino and a smuon loop, and a
chargino and a muon sneutrino loop. This represents an example of "beyond
the Standard-Model" physics that might contribute to g-2.
The muon, like the electron has a g-factor from its spin, given by the equation

\mathbf{\mu} = \frac{ge}{2m_\mu}\mathbf{S}

where is the magnetic moment resulting from the muons spin, S is the spin
angular momentum, and m is the muon mass.

The fact that the muon g-factor is not quite the same as the electron g-factor
is mostly explained by quantum electrodynamics and its calculation of the
anomalous magnetic dipole moment. Almost all of the small difference
between the two values (99.96% of it) is due to a well-understood lack of a
heavy-particle diagrams contributing to the probability for emission of a
photon representing the magnetic dipole field, which are present for muons,
but not electrons, in QED theory. These are entirely a result of the mass
difference between the particles.

However, not all of the difference between the g-factors for electrons and
muons are exactly explained by the quantum electrodynamics Standard
Model. The muon g-factor can, at least in theory, be affected by physics
beyond the Standard Model, so it has been measured very precisely, in
particular at the Brookhaven National Laboratory. As of November 2006, the
experimentally measured value is 2.0023318416(13), compared to the
theoretical prediction of 2.0023318361(10).[4] This is a difference of 3.4
standard deviations, suggesting beyond-the-Standard-Model physics may be
having an effect. The Brookhaven muon storage ring is being transported to
Fermilab where the g-2 experiment will use it to make more precise
measurements of muon g-factor.[5]

Measured g-factor values[edit]


Particle

g-factor

Uncertainty

Electron g_\mathrm{e}

2.00231930436153

Neutron g_\mathrm{n}

3.82608545

0.00000090

Proton g_\mathrm{p}

5.585694713

0.000000046

Muon g_{\mu}

2.0023318414

0.00000000000053

0.0000000012

Currently accepted NIST g-factor values [6]


The electron g-factor is one of the most precisely measured values in physics,
with a relative standard uncertainty of 2.6 x 1013.