Experiment to Illustrate the Zeeman Effect

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Abstract

AN interesting dynamical illustration of the Zeeman effect may be made by fixing a gyroscope so that its axis of rotation is the line of suspension of a pendulum bar so suspended as to be capable of vibrating in any plane. When the gyroscope is rotating the plane of vibration of the pendulum rotates with a precessional motion, and when the pendulum is caused to vibrate in a circular path its rate of description of its orbit depends on its direction of rotation round its orbit. The analogy to the Zeeman effect would make the rotation of the gyroscope correspond to the imposed magnetic force and the motion of the pendulum to that of the electrons. The explanation of the motion by the properties of a gyroscope is pretty obvious. It may be a matter for further consideration whether there are analogies between the length of the pendulum and its precession when describing elliptic orbits and the Zeeman effects: the ordinary elliptic precession corresponding to such a phenomenon as the double sodium line.

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FITZGERALD, G. Experiment to Illustrate the Zeeman Effect. Nature 59, 509 (1899) doi:10.1038/059509c0

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