# Determining Electron Dipole: Experiments & Results

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• LitleBang
In summary, the Stern-Gerlach experiment performed in 1923 showed the quantum nature of the electron's magnetic dipole moment and its spin. This idea was initially proposed to explain atomic spectra and was later supported by the Dirac equation. Different techniques, such as using spectra or isolated electrons, are used to further study the electron's properties.
LitleBang
Does anyone now what kind of experiment they used to determine that the electron is a dipole?

It's the Stern-Gerlach experiment performed in Frankfurt am Main in 1923 by Stern and Gerlach with a fundamental result showing the quantum nature of the electron's magnetic dipole moment (related to its spin). So one should move this thread to the quantum forum.

In case you mean electric dipole:
Theory ?

That it's not a dipole: Hinds and Ytterbium

The idea that the electron has spin and consequently a magnetic moment was initially proposed to explain details of atomic spectra. According to Wikipedia,

"The idea of a spin angular momentum was first proposed in a 1925 publication by George Uhlenbeck and Samuel Goudsmit to explain hyperfine splitting in atomic spectra.[n 3] In 1928, Paul Dirac provided a rigorous theoretical foundation for the concept in the Dirac equation for the wavefunction of the electron.[n 4]"

Now, there are many techniques that are used, some involving spectra and some involving isolated electrons, like this link.

vanhees71

## 1. How do you determine the electron dipole moment?

The electron dipole moment can be determined through various experiments, such as the Stern-Gerlach experiment or the Debye-Scherrer method. In these experiments, the behavior of charged particles in an electric or magnetic field is observed, and the dipole moment can be calculated based on the deflection or scattering of the particles.

## 2. What is the unit of measurement for electron dipole moment?

The unit of measurement for electron dipole moment is debye (D), named after the scientist Peter Debye. One debye is equal to 10^-18 statcoulomb-centimeters.

## 3. Can the electron dipole moment be negative?

Yes, the electron dipole moment can be positive or negative, depending on the orientation of the dipole. A positive dipole moment indicates that the electron is closer to one end of the molecule, while a negative dipole moment indicates that the electron is closer to the other end.

## 4. How does temperature affect the electron dipole moment?

The electron dipole moment is affected by temperature, as it is a measure of the charge distribution within a molecule. As temperature increases, the molecules vibrate more and the dipole moment may change in magnitude or direction.

## 5. What are some real-life applications of knowing the electron dipole moment?

The electron dipole moment is important in understanding molecular polarity, which has implications in fields such as chemistry, biology, and material science. It is also used in the development of electronic devices, such as capacitors and transistors, and in the study of molecular interactions in fields such as astrophysics and atmospheric science.

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