When an atom is excited it will emit a photon, making light. When that same light emitting atom is subjected to a magnetic field, its emission lines are split into multiple components at shifted wavelengths. This is known as the Zeeman Effect, named after the Nobel Prize winning physicist who observed the effect in 1896. It is fairly easy to explain, but hard to demonstrate or make in labs because it involves equipment that can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars.
However, from United Scientific’s Advanced Physics Line there is now a Zeeman Effect Apparatus at a much more affordable price!
The Apparatus works by having a mercury lamp (it is built into the electromagnet on the right) that emits a wavelength of 546.1nm. It does this in the middle of the electromagnet so the Zeeman Efect takes place. The effected light then travels through a focusing lens, a polarizing filter and an interference filter before arriving at what is known as a Fabry-Perot Interferometer.
The Interferometer has to parallel mirrors facing each other. The focused and filtered light enters the mirrors and comes out in the moire pattern you see on the screen in the picture above, a CCD camera captures the produced image and included software helps students measure the results.
With the exception of a computer on which to operate the software (Windows 90/2000/XP) the Zeeman Effeact Apparatus includes all a university or college needs for a modern physics laboratory.
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