Publication Date

Fall 2012

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Physics and Astronomy


Kenneth Wharton


Foucault Pendulum, Foundations of Quantum Mechanics, Lagrangians, Mathematical Physics, Quaternions, Schrodinger Pauli Equation

Subject Areas

Quantum physics; Mechanics; Mathematics


We proposed a Quaternionic mechanical system motivated by the Foucault

pendulum as a classical model for the dynamics of the spin 1/2 system. We showed

that this mechanical system contains the dynamics of the spin state of the electron

under a uniform magnetic field as it is given by the Schrodinger-Pauli-Equation

(SPE). We closed with a characterization of the dynamics of this generalized

classical system by showing that it is equivalent with the dynamics of the

Schrodinger Pauli Equation as long as the solutions to the generalized classical

system are roots of the Lagrangian, that is the condition L = 0 holds.