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Topic: Zeeman Effect  (Read 1254 times)

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Offline Mark S 2014

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Zeeman Effect
« on: October 06, 2014, 03:47:10 PM »
I understand that when a magnetic field is applied the energies of the different orientations of orbitals changes and for example in p orbitals one will stay the same, one will increase in energy and the other will decrease. Can anyone give a brief explanation of why this happens ?

Offline Corribus

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Re: Zeeman Effect
« Reply #1 on: October 06, 2014, 03:56:35 PM »
A moving charge generates a magnetic field. The difference between the three p-orbitals is the vectoral orientation of the (orbital) angular momentum of the moving electron, which by convention is defined along the z-axis. If the external magnetic field is also in the z-direction, then an electron in one of the orbitals has a momentum vector aligned with the external field*, one aligned against the external field, and one aligned perpendicular to it. Thus the magnetic field induced by the moving electron in each of these orbitals is also aligned with, against, or perpendicular to the external field. The interaction of the induced and external field can be expressed as an energy... hence in an external field electrons in the three orbitals have different energies.

(*Actually, only a part is aligned with the field, but it's the same difference as far as a qualitative explanation is concerned.)
What men are poets who can speak of Jupiter if he were like a man, but if he is an immense spinning sphere of methane and ammonia must be silent?  - Richard P. Feynman

Offline Mark S 2014

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Re: Zeeman Effect
« Reply #2 on: October 06, 2014, 04:03:46 PM »
Thanks for the quick reply, much appreciated.

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