It is one of three types of Zeeman effect. This effect can be observed in the absence of electron spins. When energy is given to an atom, the atom gains an excited state. The electrons of that atom can absorb energy and move to a higher energy level. Likewise, all electrons of that atom can absorb energy and move to higher energy levels.

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See Article History Zeeman effect,, in physics and astronomy, the splitting of a spectral line into two or more components of slightly different frequency when the light source is placed in a magnetic field.

It was first observed in by the Dutch physicist Pieter Zeeman as a broadening of the yellow D-lines of sodium in a flame held between strong magnetic poles. Later the broadening was found to be a distinct splitting of spectral lines into as many as 15 components.

Lorentz, who had earlier developed a theory concerning the effect of magnetism on light, hypothesized that the oscillations of electrons inside an atom produce light and that a magnetic field would affect the oscillations and thereby the frequency of the light emitted.

Each of the levels, characterized by an angular momentum quantity related to mass and spin , is split in a magnetic field into substates of equal energy.

These substates of energy are revealed by the resulting patterns of spectral line components. The Zeeman effect has helped physicists determine the energy levels in atoms and identify them in terms of angular momenta. It also provides an effective means of studying atomic nuclei and such phenomena as electron paramagnetic resonance. In astronomy, the Zeeman effect is used in measuring the magnetic field of the Sun and of other stars.

See also Stark effect. Learn More in these related Britannica articles:.


What is the Zeeman effect?

What is the Zeeman effect? Asked by: Wong Answer The Zeeman effect is the splitting of a spectral line by a magnetic field. That is, if an atomic spectral line of nm was considered under normal conditions, in a strong magnetic field, because of the Zeeman effect, the spectral line would be split to yield a more energetic line and a less energetic line, in addition to the original line at nm. The reason for the Zeeman effect is that in a magnetic field, the angular momentum quantum state can undergo a displacement from degeneracy. For example, the p orbital has three possible angular momentum quantum states that are degenerate of the same energy under normal circumstances. However, each angular momentum quantum state has a magnetic dipole moment associated with it, so the effect of a magnetic field is to separate the three states into three different energy levels.


Zeeman Effect in Hydrogen

Jump to navigation Jump to search The spectral lines of mercury vapor lamp at wavelength Zeeman splitting of the 5s level of 87Rb , including fine structure and hyperfine structure splitting. Play media This animation shows what happens as a sunspot or starspot forms and the magnetic field increases in strength. The light emerging from the spot starts to demonstrate the Zeeman effect. The dark spectra lines in the spectrum of the emitted light split into three components and the strength of the circular polarisation in parts of the spectrum increases significantly. This polarisation effect is a powerful tool for astronomers to detect and measure stellar magnetic fields. It is analogous to the Stark effect , the splitting of a spectral line into several components in the presence of an electric field.

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