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Zeeman Effect, Angular Momentum States, Dipole vs No Dipole.

  1. Aug 5, 2014 #1
    Hi all,
    Just a quick theory based question regarding the Zeeman Effect.

    The effect of the applied magnetic field in the Zeeman effect separates the possible angular momentum states (each of which has a magnetic dipole associated with it) into different energy levels. However, if the magnetic dipole of the angular momentum state was ignored, what would the outcome be comparing to where it is not ignored in terms of energy level spacing that were separated from the initial states? I understand the situation where the magnetic dipole is taken into account yields two closely spaced energy levels, but I don't quite understand what difference it makes to ignore the dipole and if external magnetic field is large compared to any internal magnetic field.

  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 5, 2014 #2


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    Science Advisor

    The main contribution of the internal magnetic field is spin-orbit coupling. If you ignore that and consider only the external magnetic field then you just have dipole coupling to the external field. If you ignore the dipole coupling then you just get the unperturbed problem of the Hydrogen atom wherein the only interaction is Coulomb. There's not much else to it.
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