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Quantum Mechanics with Basic Field Theory by Bipin R. Desai

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7 Stern–Gerlach experiments

This short chapter is devoted to the basic results of a very important experiment that firmly established the existence of spin one-half for the electron. It also provides an interesting insight into the concept of measurement in quantum mechanics.

7.1 Experimental set-up and electron’s magnetic moment

 

Consider a beam of electrons traveling in the x-direction subjected to an inhomogeneous magnetic field, Bz, in the z-direction, and received on a detector on the opposite side. If the electron has a magnetic moment, μ, then its interaction energy will be − μ · B. The force on the electron due to the magnetic field will be given by

where μz is the projection of μ in the z-direction. We assume the maximum value of ...

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