Scientists Break the Link between a Quantum Material’s Spin and Orbital States – A Spiritual Insight


The electron (e-) is a subatomic particle, whose electric charge is (-1). Electrons are generally thought to be elementary particles because they have no known components or substructure. The electron has a mass that is approximately 1/1836-th that of the proton. Quantum mechanical properties of the electron include an intrinsic angular momentum (spin) of a half-integer value (½), expressed in units of the reduced Planck constant, ħ. Electrons are fermions where no two electrons can occupy the same quantum state, in accordance with the Pauli exclusion principle. Like all elementary particles, electrons exhibit properties of both a particle and a wave. This property was proved by experiments with their collision with other particles which show a diffraction pattern similar to light. The wave properties of electrons are easier to observe with experiments than those of other particles like neutrons and protons because electrons have a lower mass and hence a longer de Broglie wavelength for a given energy.

Electrons play an essential role in numerous physical phenomena, such as electricity, magnetism, chemistry and thermal conductivity, and they also participate in gravitational, electromagnetic and weak interactions. The electron is a charged (-1) particle, therefore it has a surrounding electric field. If that electron is moving relative to an observer, the observer will see a magnetic field. Electromagnetic fields produced from other sources will affect the motion of an electron according to the Lorentz force law. Electrons radiate or absorb energy in the form of photons when they are accelerated. Laboratory instruments are capable of trapping individual electrons as well as electron plasma by the use of electromagnetic fields. Special telescopes can detect electron plasma in outer space. Electrons are involved in many applications such as electronics, welding, cathode ray tubes, electron microscopes, radiation therapy, lasers, gaseous ionization detectors and particle accelerators.

The properties of electrons, their charge (-1), their spin (+/- ½), may give rise to magnetism, and the shape of the electron cloud surrounding the nuclei of atoms, also known as orbitals. Until recently [1] electrons, their spins and their orbitals, were thought to go hand-in-hand meaning that one couldn’t change one state without changing another. A recent study [1] at the Department of Energy’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory demonstrated that a pulsed laser is capable of dramatically changing the spin state of an electron while leaving its orbital state intact. These results open up a new field of study for the creation of new novel logic and memory devices based on “orbitronics” according to a lead researcher at SLAC.


  1. L. Shen et al, Decoupling spin-orbital correlations in a layered manganite amidst ultrafast hybridized charge-transfer band excitation, Physical Review B (2020). DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevB.101.201103

Quote from SLAC Researcher:
“What we’re seeing in this system is the complete opposite of what people have seen in the past,” It raises the possibility that we could control a material’s spin and orbital states separately, and use variations in the shapes of orbitals as the 0s and 1s needed to make computations and store information in computer memories.”

The material that was used in the experiment was a manganese oxide-based material known as NSMO (Nd1−xSr1+xMnO4(x=2/3)). The NSMO material was manufactured as a thin crystalline layer for this study. This material has been around for a very long time (30+ years) and is used in devices where information is stored using a magnetic field to switch from one electron spin state to another by a method called spintronics. In physics, magnetic skyrmions (which are also described as “vortices,” or “vortex-like” configurations) are quasiparticles which have been predicted theoretically and observed experimentally in condensed matter physics. The storage device works based upon this property of skyrmions (vortexes) created by the magnetic fields of spinning electrons. In the study, the researchers observed the materials response when exposed to X-ray laser pulses from SLACS Linac Coherent Light Source (LCLS). For Example, when the H2 molecule is in the ground state electron spins are anti-aligned (↓↑). As we go up in atomic size in the periodic table, the electrons are arranged in the atomic orbitals in this regular repeating pattern (↓↑). When the researchers exposed the X-ray laser pulses to the NSMO material, what they expected was to observe the both the materials electron spins and orbitals to become disperse (what they call melting) as they absorbed the energy of the laser pulse. The new discovery was that only their spin patterns dispersed while their orbital patterns remained intact. The normal coupling between the spin and orbital states had been broken, which had not previously been observed before. The idea is these electron orbital states could be switched to provide a similar function theoretically speeding the operation 10,000 times faster than spintronic devices. The application of this technology may be achieved by switching between orbital states using bursts of terahertz radiation as opposed to magnetic fields that are used today. Using this technique could result in significant performance improvements for future applications. Future research is looking to exploit this new technology and studies are continuing in order to understand and control this behavior and performance.

The Spiritual Insight that we receive from this type of research is found in the sense of modifying the state of the e- while leaving it in its orbital position. The parallel is found in how the Lord God Almighty provides us the power to overcome sin, while leaving us in this world. Yeshua said while praying in John 17:15 “I do not ask You to take them out of the world, but to keep them from the evil one.” (NASB) The Hebrew verb for “protect” is the word shamar (שָׁמַר). This word appears first in the Masoretic Text in Bereshit / Genesis 2:15 (טו וַיִּקַּח יְהוָֹה אֱלֹהִים אֶת-הָאָדָם וַיַּנִּחֵהוּ בְגַן-עֵדֶן לְעָבְדָהּ וּלְשָׁמְרָהּ🙂 where the Lord God instructed Adam to “tend” and “guard” the garden. This word is also used in Bereshit / Genesis 17:9 where God said to Abraham to “keep” His covenant. The word shamar is used over 400 times in the Tanach. The basic idea of this word is to “exercise great care over something,” to “watch over something,” to “guard something,” to “take heed of something,” and to “tend something.” (as in the example of restraining a flock of sheep in order to protect them, etc) The word Shamar (שָׁמַר) is used in the context of our watching over our own lives so as we do not sin, to run from sin, to keep ourselves by walking according to God’s ways. The psalmist wrote according to Tehillim / Psalms 121:7 The LORD will protect you from all evil: he will watch over your life. (NASB, יְהוָה יִשְׁמָרְךָ מִכָּל-רָע יִשְׁמֹר אֶת-נַפְשֶׁךָ) Here the word for “evil” is ra’ (רַע), a general term that may denote physical harm or personal distress, but more often refers to the immoral or unethical (unrighteous) actions performed by others.

Tehillim / Psalms 121:1-8
121:1 I will lift up my eyes to the mountains; From whence shall my help come? 121:2 My help comes from the Lord, Who made heaven and earth. 121:3 He will not allow your foot to slip; He who keeps you will not slumber. 121:4 Behold, He who keeps Israel Will neither slumber nor sleep. 121:5 The Lord is your keeper; The Lord is your shade on your right hand. 121:6 The sun will not smite you by day, Nor the moon by night. 121:7 The Lord will protect you from all evil; He will keep your soul. 121:8 The Lord will guard your going out and your coming in From this time forth and forever. (NASB, א שִׁיר לַמַּעֲלוֹת אֶשָּׂא עֵינַי אֶל-הֶהָרִים מֵאַיִן יָבֹא עֶזְרִי: ב עֶזְרִי מֵעִם יְהֹוָה עֹשֵֹה שָׁמַיִם וָאָרֶץ: ג אַל-יִתֵּן לַמּוֹט רַגְלֶךָ אַל-יָנוּם שֹׁמְרֶךָ: ד הִנֵּה לֹא יָנוּם וְלֹא יִישָׁן שׁוֹמֵר יִשְֹרָאֵל: ה יְהֹוָה שֹׁמְרֶךָ יְהֹוָה צִלְּךָ עַל-יַד יְמִינֶךָ: ו יוֹמָם הַשֶּׁמֶשׁ לֹא-יַכֶּכָּה וְיָרֵחַ בַּלָּיְלָה: ז יְהוָה יִשְׁמָרְךָ מִכָּל-רָע יִשְׁמֹר אֶת-נַפְשֶׁךָ: ח יְהוָה יִשְׁמָר-צֵאתְךָ וּבוֹאֶךָ מֵעַתָּה וְעַד-עוֹלָם:)

The psalmist describes God as עשֵׂה שָׁמַיִם וָאָרֶץ (oseh shamayim va’aretz) the “Maker of heaven and earth,” He is the one who will preserve (shamar, שָׁמַר) the soul (אֶת-נַפְשֶׁךָ) of the one who looks to Him for help (121:2). He will guard (shamar) that soul (אֶת-נַפְשֶׁךָ) and will not slumber (121:3). He will watch over (shamar) Israel and will not sleep (121:4), and He is the keeper of the soul (אֶת-נַפְשֶׁךָ) (121:5). We are told the Lord God of Israel will preserve (shamar) us from the evil one, and guard (shamar) us from evil (121:7). These things reveal to us how the Lord God Almighty will guard our coming and going forever (121:8). If we submit our lives to God’s will, and to His Messiah (Anointed One), we can be assured that these things are true. We are told here by the psalmist about God’s protection and because we have God’s protection, we are told to guard our hearts, to keep the heart involved with the things of God as king Solomon wrote in Mishley / Proverbs 4:23 saying “Above all else guard (shamar) your heart, for from it flow the springs of life.” (כג מִכָּל-מִשְׁמָר נְצֹר לִבֶּךָ כִּי-מִמֶּנּוּ תּוֹצְאוֹת חַיִּים:) Solomon wrote that the heart is the wellspring of life, and it is in the heart the Lord God Almighty said he would dwell by our faith in Yeshua the Messiah!

In the rabbinic literature, the yetzer hara represents the inward man (one’s heart) to gravitate towards selfish gain. Bereshit / Genesis 6:5 is the first location in the Scriptures we find the word yetzer appears.

Bereshit / Genesis 6:5
6:5 Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great on the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. (NASB, ה וַיַּרְא יְהֹוָה כִּי רַבָּה רָעַת הָאָדָם בָּאָרֶץ וְכָל-יֵצֶר מַחְשְׁבֹת לִבּוֹ רַק רַע כָּל-הַיּוֹם:)

This is the context of its usage saying, “all/every imagination of the thoughts of the heart was only evil, continually.” The yetzer is used here as referring to something formed or shaped like pottery, providing an interesting context to the heart of man that forms and shapes one’s actions. It is within the heart that a man will shape or form his character and disposition in relation to sin, obedience, and relationship with the Lord God of Israel and the Messiah Yeshua. The Yetzer hatov on the other hand represents the inner impulse to do good. The rabbis say both were created by God, one was given for the pregression of mankind, to build, marry, and create, while the other was given to obey God’s Word, to live in righteousness, holiness, and truth.

The Hebrew word most often translated for sin is chatah (חֲטָאָה) which means missing the mark as one who is shooting for a target, the chatah is the description of one who makes a mistake and misses the target. There are other words in the Hebrew language found in the Hebrew Bible that convey more serious condition than the word chatah (חֲטָאָה). For example, the word pesha (פֶּשַׁע) is a willful transgression of God’s commands done in order to spite God. This word suggests defiance, rebellion, and the casting off of God’s authority. The English translation of pesha is most often given as “transgression,” meaning “going beyond the limits” of God’s Torah. Another example is of the word, avon (עָוֹן) which is usually translated into English as “iniquity.” Avon is connected to the idea of perversion, or a willful twisting and distorting of the will of God for selfish ends. In thise cases, the yetzer hara is used for evil intent, to create sin.  In Tehillim / Psalms 32:1, King David wrote of the happiness of the one whose pesha (פֶּשַׁע) is “forgiven.” There are a few ways the word for “forgiven” may be translated in Hebrew. The first is נָסָה (nasa) meaning “to bear up, to take up, or to carry.” The word “forgiven” may be translated into three Hebrew words:

  1. כָּפַר
    pardon, cleansed, making atonement, reconcile, cover, atone, atonement is made, make atonement, atoned, expiation can be made, purge away, appease, forgave, forgive, put off, made atonement, atonement was made, reconciliation, merciful, canceled, forgiven, atonement shall be made, atoning, pitch, disannulled
  2. נָסָה
    pardon, put, carried, took, supplied, rose, taken, load, withhold, count, carry, bare, married, armourbearer, continued, wearing, bore, found, incur, have, endured, obtained, sworn, favor, pardons, offer, bring forth, sing, fetch, picks, receives, sustain, released, must be carried, contain, receive, shield-carrier, lifted, carries, bears, take away, spare, carry off, support, carry away, worked, looked, partial, forgave, desire, partiality, forgive, forgives, honorable, respected, make, laid, accept, supported, upheaved, granted, brought, become proud, bearer, showed, assisted, shows, loaded, rise, forgiving, take, swore, regard, exalted, lift
  3. סָלַח
    pardon, pardons, spare, forgive, pardoned, forgiven

Taking from the idea of bearing, or lifting up, David’s words in Tehillim / Psalms 32:1 may be translated as happy is the one whose rebellion against the Lord has been “taken up” and whose chata’ah has been covered. The psalm continues saying, “Happy is the one whom the Lord does not hold guilty of selfish perversion, that is, avon, and in whose spirit there is no deceit.” (Tehillim / Psalm 32:2) The concept of bearing up is given to us by Moshe’s example in Parashat Ki Tisa (Shemot / Exodus 30:11-34:35). Moshe spoke to the Lord God of Israel to bear up the sins of Israel. In Shemot / Exodus 32:30 we read וַיְהִי֙ מִֽמָּחֳרָ֔ת וַיֹּ֤אמֶר מֹשֶׁה֙ אֶל־הָעָ֔ם אַתֶּ֥ם חֲטָאתֶ֖ם חֲטָאָ֣ה גְדֹלָ֑ה וְעַתָּה֙ אֶֽעֱלֶ֣ה אֶל־יְהוָ֔ה אוּלַ֥י אֲכַפְּרָ֖ה בְּעַ֥ד חַטַּאתְכֶֽם׃ “The next day Moses said to the people, ‘You have been guilty of a great sin. Yet I will now go up to the LORD; perhaps I may win forgiveness for your sin.’” Moshe said to the Lord in Shemot / Exodus 32:32 וְעַתָּ֖ה אִם־תִּשָּׂ֣א חַטָּאתָ֑ם וְאִם־אַ֕יִן מְחֵ֣נִי נָ֔א מִֽסִּפְרְךָ֖ אֲשֶׁ֥ר כָּתָֽבְתָּ׃ “Now, if You will forgive their sin [well and good]; but if not, erase me from the record which You have written!” This is analogous to Sins being “taken up” by the Mashiach, the anointed one of God. This is how Yeshua was wounded for our transgressions (pesha), crushed for our iniquities (avon), and bore the sin (chata’ah) of many according to Isaiah 53. The idea of the Lord God protecting and enabling us to live for him, to overcome sin, is illustrated in the following verses:

1 Peter 2:21-22
“For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps: ‘Who committed no sin, nor was deceit found in His mouth.’”

1 Peter 4:1-2
“Therefore, since Christ suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same mind, for he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin, that he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh for the lusts of men, but for the will of God.”

2 Peter 1:10
“Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent to make your call and election sure, for if you do these things you will never stumble.”

1 John 3:3
“And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.”

1 John 3:6-7
“Whoever abides in Him does not sin. Whoever sins has neither seen Him nor known Him. Little children, let no one deceive you. He who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous.”

Revelation 3:21
“To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.”

These passages speak to us concerning the holiness of our lives in the sense of His setting us high above in the heavenly regions as precious beings created by God! We will always struggle with sin (1 John 1:8), as sin makes war in our bodies. We however are not left alone which is why the Lord God said He will be with us so we are victorious. The Lord God Almighty sends His Spirit into our hearts and lives, strengthening us to overcome. Paul wrote contrasting the works of the flesh with the fruit of the Spirit according to Galatians 5:16-25. Paul wrote we are to walk according to the Spirit, and doing so causes us not to commit the sins of the flesh. This means we live our lives according to God’s commands with His help! We live our lives yielding to the Holy Spirit of God such that we do not give into the lusts of the flesh. Prayer also helps in the battle against sin. The early believers had given themselves to prayer. (Acts 3:1, 4:31, 6:4, 13:1-3) Notice something about these references, the presence of God helps us to overcome sin, we also must give ourselves to God’s ways, walking in holiness, righteousness, and truth. These Scriptures are consistent with a Torah centric approach to seeking God’s holiness, righteousness, and truth as those who are called by His name! The Lord God has given us many promises such as what we find in Matthew 7:7-11, Luke 18:1-8, John 6:23-27, and 1 John 5:14-15. Having the hope of God delivering us is how we prepare for the spiritual battles that come our way as Paul wrote in Ephesians 6:18. The Word of God is given to us so that we can study and place God’s word upon our hearts, and prayer such that we can commune with the Lord, as Yeshua wrote, “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the body is weak.” (Matthew 26:41) We recognize our own limitations, and the need for the Lord God of Israel to help us to overcome and to do what He wants us to do, not what we want to do. (1 John 5:14-15) The Lord God did not leave us alone either, he gave us other believers to help in our walk before Him for accountability. (Mark 6:7, James 5:16, Hebrews 10:24) We can encourage one another, to walk in God’s ways, to bring glory to His name. Just as Solomon wrote in Mishley / Proverbs 27:17, “as iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.” There is strength in numbers. This is why the Lord promises to be with us and not leave us alone. (Devarim / Deuteronomy 4:31, 31:6-8, Joshua 1:5-9, Isaiah 41:10, Matthew 28:20, Hebrews 13:5-6, etc) The point about all of these things, in light of the scientific reseach (i.e. modifying the state of the e- while leaving it in its orbital position) and the parallel of how the Lord God Almighty provides us the power to overcome sin (modifying our state) while leaving us in this world, we do not necessarily get a free ride here. Just as we know the second law of thermodynamics (the law of entropy) states there is no free ride, these Scriptures tell us that the Lord God Almighty is here with us, Yeshua said that he does not take us out of this world, these things describe how we are to submit our lives to the Lord, live by faith, and walk according to the Spirit. These things take practice and show us that we are to put God’s Word into action in our lives! When put into action, the words of Scripture will have a profound impact on how you relate to God, to ourselves, and to others. And just as important, we will see the Lord working in our lives in a very powerful way! This is why it is so important that we apply God’s Word to our lives!