The Stern-Gerlach experience explained
What is the Stern–Gerlach experiment ?
The Stern–Gerlach experiment demonstrated that the spatial orientation of angular momentum is quantized. Thus an atomic-scale system was shown to have intrinsically quantum properties. In the original experiment, silver atoms were sent through a spatially varying magnetic field, which deflected them before they struck a detector screen, such as a glass slide. Particles with non-zero magnetic moment are deflected, due to the magnetic field gradient, from a straight path. The screen reveals discrete points of accumulation, rather than a continuous distribution,owing to their quantized spin. Historically, this experiment was decisive in convincing physicists of the reality of angular-momentum quantization in all atomic-scale systems.
The Stern-Gerlach experiment, performed in 1922, delivered the first experimental proof of the fascinating degree of freedom of an electron spin. This video ist part of the online course www.quantumreflections.net dealing with quantum physics, produced by the institute for physics education research, Münster university (Germany)
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