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Homework Help: Question about the Stern-Gerlach Expirement

  1. Jul 29, 2003 #1
    If Fz changes according to &muzdB/dz and the silver atoms are collimated into a beam how does the dipole magnetic moment of the atoms see and change in the B-field if the beam is cutting across the B-field perpendicularly?

    How does a changing B-field, in the verticle direction affect the Ag atoms? It seems to me the B-field wouldn't affect the atoms.

    I hope I'm making sense, let me know if you need me to restate to be clearer, I hope other have faced this question as I am.
     
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  3. Jul 29, 2003 #2

    Tom Mattson

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    I think you just answered your own question. The force on the atom is, as you say, Fz=μz(dB/dz). All of those quantities are nonzero, so there is a force.

    I'm not sure of why you are having trouble, so I think you will have to explain.
     
  4. Jul 29, 2003 #3
    I'll have to think about it further...



    Why does the B-field need to change in the z direction to impart a deflection on the Ag atoms? I haven't quite grasped that concept, maybe my B-field knowledge is a little rusty?
     
  5. Jul 29, 2003 #4

    Tom Mattson

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    That's how B-fields interact with dipole moments. I think part of your difficulty here might be that you expect magnetic dipoles and B-fields to interact in the same way as electric charges and E-fields, which is not the case.
     
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