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What is stern-gerlach?

  1. Aug 11, 2005 #1
    In the stern-Gerlach experiment, how much would a hydrogen atom emanating from a 500 k oven (KE = 1.5kT) be deflected in traveling one meter throught a magnetic field whose rate of change is 10T/m?

    what is stern-gerlach?
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 11, 2005 #2
    Haven't you read the PF guidelines ? You should first post your own attempts of what you have done up till now.

    What a question

  4. Aug 11, 2005 #3


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    Which textbook is it that gives a homework exercise involving the Stern-Gerlach effect, but doesn't discuss the SG effect itself? :confused:

    Try the book's index.
  5. Aug 11, 2005 #4
    Thanks for your help....

    I found this forum very unfriendly. :frown:
    It is very different from other forums where ppl have great discussions and help each other out.

    If I could solve the problem, I wouldn't have asked the question, right?

    Just because it is in the book doesn't mean that people understand it.

    marlon: I need a help with this particular problem, not how to find Stern-Gerlacht on the internet, THAT I could do by myself. Thanks.
  6. Aug 11, 2005 #5


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    1. You must have missed reading the Sticky in this section.

    2. "Helping" does not mean spoon-feeding. Rather than give you fish, most of us try to TEACH you HOW TO FISH, so that next time you are hungry, you know what to do.

    3. You cannot just ask "What is Stern-Gerlach" especially when you admit that it is in the book. What EXACTLY did you not understand upon reading the description? You cannot expect to be helped without indicating where you are stuck! A help in understanding something can only be effective if it is built ON TOP of something you have already understood! Only then can a secure foundation be built. You have not indicated what you have understood. We have no where to build on!

    4. In this day and age of googling, asking "what is stern-gerlach" is very puzzling. Again, did you try reading what it is? Where did you not understand?

    Again, you need to understand and be aware that the BEST type of help anyone can ever give you is to make you have the SKILL to learn. Just telling you what it is doesn't help you the NEXT time you are faced with a similar problem. Some of us will put in an incredible amount of effort and go out of our way to help. You should at least show the same respect by putting in at least some thought in your question to show that you have at least made an effort, and somehow got stuck somewhere.

  7. Aug 11, 2005 #6


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    Just out of curiosity, I checked three of my old undergraduate textbooks in modern physics. Although all three mention the Stern-Gerlach experiment, only one goes into detail regarding the deflection of the silver ions as a function of velocity (kinetic energy) and magnetic field gradient. The other two texts simply discuss the implications of the experiment - namely confirmation of quantization of spin.

    I looked at several web sites which discuss Stern-Gerlach. Several simply discussed the implications for quantization of spin, and had java applets. Even the Wiki article is not useful.

    So with that - from the kinetic theory of gases - KE (1/2 mv2) = 3/2 kT. from that one can obtain v.

    The time in the magnetic field = L/v (L=1 m according to the OP).

    The problem is determine the deflection of the hydrogen atom, which means one must determine the acceleration of the atom imparted by the magnetic field.

    matrix5 - can you find in your text, the force on a dipole in an inhomogeneous magnetic field?

    Actually I did find a useful site - http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/hbase/spin.html (Check the fifth box)

    If this homework problem is in the textbook, then I would imagine that the appropriate discussion is also available.
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2005
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