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The aim of this chapter is to develop a quantum mechanical theory of electron
dynamics that is consistent with special relativity. Such a theory is needed
to explain the origin of electron spin (which is essentially a relativistic effect).
Relativistic electron theory is
also required to fully understand the fine structure of the hydrogen
atom energy levels. (Recall, from Section 7.7, and Exercises 11 and 13, that the modification to the energy
levels due to spin-orbit coupling is of the same order of magnitude as the
first-order correction due to the electron's relativistic mass increase.)

Richard Fitzpatrick
2016-01-22