Advanced Study Course

Section C

Experiment 1.3 – Stern-Gerlach Experiment

Aim of this experiment is to verify the discovery of the magnetic moment of atoms by Otto Stern and Walter Gerlach and to explain a phenomenon which cannot be understood in classical physics: the splitting of an atomic beam running through an inhomogenous magnetic field into separate partial beams because of the directional quantisation of the magnetic moment. In addition insights in the production of an atomic potassium beam and its detection with a tungsten wire are obtained. Eventually, conclusions can be drawn on the magnetic moment and the value of Bohr's magneton can be extracted from the observed splitting.