half-integer

noun

plural half-integers
: any number of the form x/2, where x is any odd integer
Particles whose spin is a half-integer of h, on the other hand, are fermions satisfying the Pauli exclusion principle; no two particles can have the same state.Qimiao Si et al., Science, 3 Sept. 2010

Note: A half of an even integer is considered an integer. A half-integer is the result of a half of an odd integer.

half-integral adjective
All the particles that we like to think of as “real” particles, like protons, neutrons and electrons, have spin which is half-integral—1/2, 3/2, 5/2 and so on. John Gribbin, The Search For Superstrings, 1998

Word History

First Known Use

1897, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of half-integer was in 1897

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Cite this Entry

“Half-integer.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/half-integer. Accessed 29 Jan. 2023.

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