Stern an.

d Gerlach: How a Bad Cigar Helped

Reorient Atomic Physics
The hisltOry of the Stem-Gerlach experiment reveals how

just the ways.

persistence" accident, and luck can sometimes

Bretislav Friedrich and Dudley Herschbach
quantization, C81Tied out in Frankfurt, -ermany, in 1922 by Otto tern and Walth r Gerlach, ranks among the dozen or so canonical experiments that ushered in th heroic age of quantum physics. Perhaps no. other experiment is 0 oft neited for e] gant conceptual simplicity. From jt emerged both new intell tual vi tas and a host of u eful applications of quantum science. Yet even among atomic physicists, very :I) w today ape aware of the historical partioulars that enhance the dnama of the story and ·the abfding lessons it offers, Among tb~· p.artieulars are iii warm bed, '8 had, cigar, It timely postcard, a: railroad. trike, and an. uncanny con. piracy of atnre that T' warded tern and 'Gerlach. Th ir uece s in splitting a beam of silver atoms by means of a magnetic. fi Id tart led" elated and confounded pioneering quantum theorists, including several who beforehand had regarded an att rnpt' to bserve pac quantization as naiw and fo li h. Descendants of the· tern-Gerlach experiment, (SGE) and its key concept ef sorting quantum states via spa e quantization are legion. Amont them arethe prototypes for DUel 81' magnetic resonance, optical pumping, the las ell', and atontic eloeks, as well as incisive discoveries such as the Lamb shifl, and the anomalous increment in ·the r.n~grwtic moment of the 1 ctron, which. launch d quantum lectl'odynamics. Th means to probe nuclei, pro. teiru , and galaxies; image bodies and brains; perform ey surgery; read music 01' data from compact disk; and can bar cod on gro ery ,packag~s or DNA base pairs in ~he human g nome all stern fi'omexpJoiting transibions between space-quantized quantum states. A new center for experimental physic at the University of Frankfurt was recently namedin honor ef Stern end Gerlach, e figure 1), The opportunity to take part in the dedication prompted us to reenact thecigar sto:ry,.as told to. One of us (l:'Ierschbach) by tern hiJnseJf more ·t.han 40, years ago. Here we briel1y trace the ant cedent trajectorie '.of tern and Gerlach and the perplexing physics of the
recently moved trom Harvard University in Cambrfdge, MassactlUsetts, to become a semor sclentisl at tfle Fdtz Hab'er Institute of the Ma Planck Society in Berlin. Dudley Herschbach (htJach@chemlstry,hBrvard.eduj is a professor In tfjeJiepai1ment

'he demons ration of spae

time, which broughtthem to eollabor te in Frankfurt. We also describe the vicissitudes and rec ption of the GE, combine, in before and after the discoverY of e1 ctron spin, and report how cigll.t'smoke ledus to a "back-to-the-ftrture" depot sition detector .: Mindful of the memoria] plaque at Frankfurt) dep~cting Stem and Gerlach on 0PP ite sides of their split molecular beam, we a] 0 invit r-eaders to reflect on the Iater trajectOl'ies of the e 'Wofine oientista-dmpelled in oppositedir~ctioa by the tragic rise to power of Adolf Hitler,

From osmotic soda to atomic beam
Otto tern received hi doctorate in phy leal chemi try at the University ·ofBreslau in 1912, In his dies rromon, be pr nted theory and exp rirnentson csmotic pressure of concentrated solutions of carbnn dioxide in varioussolvent ·_just geneealized soda water. His proud' pm'ellts ofe fel'ed [;() support him for 'Postdoctoral tudy aUY'A,here he lik· d. "Mo Ivated by a l>pirit of adventure,' Stern became the [lrst pupil tAlbert Eius ' in, thell Prague; their dl cussions were held "in a cafe which was attached to brothel.' il oon Einstein was recall d to ZUrich. t rn a companied him there and was appoint d priuaulozen: for physical chemistry; Un del' Einatein's influence, tern became interested in light quanta, the nattrr of atoms, magnetism, and statis tical physics. However, 'tern was shocked by the iconoclastic atomic model of Niels Bobr. hortlyafter it a,pI)eared ill mid-19l3, Stern and his eolleagu Max von Laue made an earneet vow: "If this nonsense of Bohr should in he end prov to be right; we will quit physics!";) When Einstein moved to Berlin iIi 1914, Stern becameprivatdflzent for theoretical phy ics at Frankfurt, World WaJ' I soon int rvened, 1ut even while serving in th German army, tern manag d to do significant W01'k, including an unucce sful but prescient experiment, an at empt to separate by diffusion a su pected hydrog n isotope of mass two, After the war, tern returned to Frankfu:rt and became assi' taut to 'Nwx Born in the Institute for TheoreticalPhysics, There began Stem's molecular beam @d..V5s y (see figure 2). He had learned of the rudimentary experimenteof'Lcuis Dunoyer in 19U, whi;ch demOl~stl'liLtEld that «molecular rays" ef'sedieen, formed by atilrtsion :into a vaeuum,traveled in straight lines. tern. was captivated by the imp,licity and direetn s" of the m thad, which "enables us to make measurement on i olat d n utral atoms r mol eule with macrescopic tool ... land therehyl is esp cially aluable for testing and demonstrating directly fundamental assumptioas at the theory,'" Born .strongly encouraged "IT! to pursu mclecular beam experiments, Indeed, ill 1919, Born himseIfund nook"


BreUslav Friedrich (breQsla1l.friedrlch@fhT"berl/(l,mpg:de)


sf oJiemIstr;y and eheriJiciJ! t:Jtology at MaIllard,

December 2003

PhysicsToday 53,

That produced 11 smarr centlifugal displacement of the beam indicative of its ve:1Gcity dis(. obtained an appointment in 1920 at Frankfurt as asi tant in the Institute for EXperimental Physics. Gerlach's respon e was to quot a favorite.QIl~trucIiDn. of Horst Schmidt. Although the "normal" Zeeman afl' at (much less common than the anomalous ease) appeared consistent with space quantizat~on.physicstbday.IIWQbJt '8 magnetic resonance. or lasers.. it was equally well aCCi:0unted fo:r by aclassical mode'! proposed in 1897 by Hendrick Lorentz.. the complex ·spJitting patterns of spectral lines in a magnetic field. hyd:rog nic atom in 191'1$ by Arnold ·ommetfeld and. The inscription. heunderlook experiments t test vari us g ometrical configurations. the most advanced quantum theory was stilltb. using classical theory as well as quantum theory. <tomic of From thermal radiation to magnetic deflection W~ilther Gerlach received his doctorate in physics at the UlliveT'si~y of Tiibi11. caused by reversing the dh'action of rotation. A cone.kil'1gJ with his student Elisabs 'b Borman ." The flew S.-eoc. After iii brief inte.crystal. serve emis ien from beams of a few different metals.~ vated by kinetic theory. In order to design a magnetic field with the highest practical gradient. Gerlach's interest in molecular beam. The war disappointed that invoking space quantization failed to elucidate the vexing problem of the "anomalous" Zeeman effect.'. A:t Frankfurt. Gerlach worked with Wilhelm Wien on the de" lopm nt of measur-e the mean fre path for a beam of silver atoms attenuated by ail'. in translation. Soon thereafter. mounted in February 2002 near the en- trance to the building in their experiment took place. by Peter Debye. Impressed by Dunoyer's bservation of fluorescence from a sodium beam.d:bution as imaged by faint deposits of silver: From the shift of those deposits.rlude in industry. Their proposed quantization conditions U:i:1p1ied that Bohr's quasiplanetary electron orbits should assume only certain discrete spatial orientations with . ..a. In St I'll'S first beam experi. e peril'tl~ntls the basis of rmportarrt scientific and tecbnoLogical developments in !!he 20th enlul)'. was hardly understandable. Germany. His research dealt with blackbedy radiation and the photoel ctrie effect.nal labomtory.where reads.t m-Cerl. nkfurl. strongly inhomogeneous field. only 15 m ters per second.respect to an external field. Stem was able to evaluate the far larger mean velocity of the atoms-about 66b rnls at lOQO"e. This spread bafflement and gloom among atomic theorists as described by Wolfgang Pauli: The anomalous type . . "In February 1922 .ae the fundarnelil~al discovery o( space quanttzalion of the magnetic moments Fr. withut suec S8.Stem-Gerlach krn nillrtl1o.ague who met me strolling rather aimlessly in the beautiful streets of hltp:JlwwW. .r clocks. . according a the planetary electron rrotates clockwise or counterclockwise about the fi M axis. he wanted to investigate whsther a bismuth atom would show the same strongd:lamagnetism exhthited by a bismuth .e Bohr model as generalized for a. he d termined the mean thermal velocity of silv r atoms in a clever way. The. Gerlach fset. adjacent to Born's institute. his design for the SGE would invoke an analogue to test the Bohr model: A magnetic MId gradient should produce oppo3te deflections of the beam atoms. such as filbI"de. independently. Hisplan was to deflect a beam of bismuth atoms in a. since very general assumptions concerning the t.. went back to 1912.ilch (enter fur Experimental PhysiGSat lhe Uhiversity of Frankfurt is u ndar c. . While serving in the military duri og World War I.. was 111<J.gen in 1912. always led to the same triplet. Born doubted that the deflection xperiment would prove worthwhile. (Photo courtesy. Gerlach. saying. later apt fOl. [' ported in 1920 and mo . . figure 3) had tried to ob1 54 December 2003 Physics Today .' the SGE as well: "No experiment is so dumb" that i should not be tried."" Quandaries about space quantization In 1921.figme 1.c the origi. He mounted the atomic beam source on a rota~ng platform-a miniatur merry-go-round=-that spun at a modest p ripheral velocity.. A memorial plaque honoring OUo Stern and Walther Gerlach.

stitL1l:e Pm P.z~I't.. a.--~ 9(9). NeVl'lrthe:less.uantum.h1 1920. predicted that t. cigar i·1'I hC1ltl~lf wdrkinS'jh M i'l'i1ol. in contrast.requd~e nhat a gas ofhydrogenic Ilt"llffiS would be magnetically birefrtngent. 'Phe twofold charecter made feasib~e a deeisive 'test 'of spatial quantjz-a:t.ion g." 1 He' r-eoogo:ized 'tha't.l. 'has a majol' role both in fet'l'om~gnat~8mand:in the anomalous Zeenume:ffiect. ina strong enough field gradient the two oppositely m::iented eomponends should .lhe In.hvsfss in M'Ul'lllel:i.l htlp:llwww:physicsl0day. '. mindful of the idea. so .agtleton.-iol1 tlsing· magnetie defLec:'ti. as well as Stem" i'had also . was ltmitedl to ±hJ21f (although BohT. Thus.liJoul 19:50. ac.[o:a:ntiz'<!lUon oftbe Bollor mndel that had not beee.burg. (lHoSfe:m (1. ctigari f1 _ ha~d: ia his lab(!lra:lDry a. envisioned. (P'lmto C'!ll!urtesy of Peter December .shuuJd indeed hl'l much smaller tball. magnets would precess in the fWld but remain 'rantil. Pauli's basie model was wl'ong.he~lay there thinking and had the idea for the experiment. For Stern. '"wh~re'upon l answered v fisl'cely.coFdin:g to the Bohr model.IHIIJ.dleetIbrts to refine the theory of ferromagnetism advanced in 1913 b~ Pierre Weiss. by csny. lPhotOCIDtlfil'@SY. ef W. prospect an experiment that. a zel. inc.Fig. "You l<:!o:kalY u:ohappy. 243. it implied that the Q. be de:l1ected outside the width ofilie original beam. among others.gneticdomains within a metal. P~1. The next morning h~ wolt.heato. he concluded that the neeifMGi:ve atomic moment .cbserved. th.c)(hl'br)-by about a factor offiive. bu:titwlls 'too cold to g'!l'tOIii.Ili's app~al to Ilpace qaantization (.eup.Jilistry in I-ram. because'the electron would orb~t ina plane perpendiaularba 'the fie:ld directiou. In an attem"pt tc account fQt' t.E!cular beilm llilboratory aIr tfte I'n'stiture Far Phy~kal CheJ.on·0f an atomic b am.u' successful. as the projectl.V!2rage magnetic mpmeu. of bed.otnly criented .2003 Physics Tffday 55 . SchHltz.. 'Stem recalled that the bit'efringence question was raiaedat a semi·lllU. the Bohr l'O. Despite th~ smearing effect of thlil ~Ioc:ity distrihution. had become uneasy that lus .IlliI.lIre dilference.llom·tl:l of an eleetroa. by space l. is thinking of the anomalous Z~malleffect'?"r. Stem thought be had in.e immediate stimulus for the SGE was a properly implied.tisl. The: model appeared t~.t of an stant in a fully magne~ized sainp. I\vUIJ deeide unequivocally between the quantum them'etiral 1F-~l. 'ffi.~o:n· sh9lild l.LudWg 'Ster-ll. still u:nd~scove. 80 'the deflections ·~'VouJ.le only twofold. a 1'l0b1'~r9 30.mic. still tll>eful o'ut a·sw. "How can one look 'happy when he.raodsl ezeluded. the space quanti.donly broaden (but not split) the beam. r969. PhY$· BL 25. Pauli invoked space quantizaUon.e/2m.a.If atomic magness helped make col 1eag:l!!es.!Ir3. Howevar.:O value).oIl of the orbital angular ~nomentum. numbers. spin. /.. in 1920. as it considered only orbital magnerism. Pauli.e~Jy.) Copenhagen said to me :in a friendly manner.Ie of iron was much smaller than nhe Bohr II'lagne~on~the m~gneJtiCi!. Walther Gerlach 0889-1979J r.iB = (. That :theory.icaJ average Q¥IU' the pI'ojecl.

months.the experiment took morethan a yeae 0 accompli was unstinting in efforts to raise funds to support the SGE. with the messa&e.0 em long IlectionI decided that an attempt should be with field trengfh about 0. As inconclusive efforts continued for man . family roots in collector plafe. :ft. pite Stern's careful design and feasibility calculati n .w De.. Bitt to u take this literally like Stern did.:1"e1' tom beam arid handed a 11e and G rlaeh met in Gottingen to review the situation the flange to me.' Stern recalled that his own urprisa and what [had happened]." apparatus." tCollrte51 AlP IEmi1'lc Segre WiswaJ Archlves. the work Lon th tern-G ila:cn was u ually only a few hOUTS between breakdowns of the experimen -I went on successfully. . in tran . a po tcand arrived simply saying . but meta cool reception. eries of public lecture ''i'o the biggest lecturehall of the University .1late Iyou] O(llhecon~rma- Li~m Gf your the01¥. or the magnet by more than 0.1 qLlanti7al'io. a beam of' silver atoms (produced by effusioD of tn taUic vapcr from an OV n hl'. no trace of the s. but as inflation got worse . imtrace of the beam.)'r handicap was the financial disarray that began 'to be et Germany. was deposited on the and progenitor of'Weolwcrth CDstores had. but on remm wide) and traversed a deflecting magnet 3. although bath continued pulling cigars in the lab..hs. In hi autobiography. rAJ nice letter was com posed and dis10 t .. mm.".lated to lOOQ"Cl waseollimaf d by two narrew slits (IO.' and claseical view . . In/ . My alary was telegram from Gerlachwith that. and soon achieved a clear splitting into two beams. tern described an early episod : Frankfurt. something physically real. Still recalcitrant difl'i. However.1 tel la and gradient mad .01 mm were enough to lars.physics1oday.Figure 4.GB At first I took it for another joke.v . too Goldman. a few week later. r tried to persuade Stern tha th re wa no ens [in it]. a railroad strike delayed my houlder as I peered ·closely tiL the plate.n~We CO!1"'rab1. Born said.) breath on the plate turned th ilver into silver sulfide. Gerlacb Meanwhile.. Inearly 1922. nt of pace quantization wavered betwe n conviction and rejection.'?' Gerlach also sent a postcard to Bohr with cigar . In h final form of the apparatus.. After that episode. which is jet black so ea ily visible.. . gi vi ng hi m a long day Lago we were surprised to s e gradually emerge the aver all the details again. With Gerlach looking over and decided to give up.. thau is r only] a timetable for th electroas.this was his own idea . and charged an entrance fe . Bohr.. These had a lot of sulfur in th m.. It shows a photogrflph of the beam splitting.who aid. tern hastened to Born. a founder (If the investment firm Ooldman. After venting to rslease tlae vacuum.. don't b Iieva that the [spatial] orientation of atems Gerlach. Acoon:lingly.that he should write to Henry Goldman. Gerlach's postcard. mi alignments of collimating 2 riv d and a chequ fOJ' ome hundreds of dolIit. "111 Anoth(. dated 8 Fe-bruary 1912. to Nlel . and soon a most charming reply aronly 0..Sach thin to be visible to an unaided eye. n " mean had tob found. Finally we r alized pro ed the alignment..." Born mentioned this situation "jokingly" to a friend who was departing on a trip to New York.. The man y thus earned helped us for soma. Th -plitting orch ilver beam achieved was patched. but then htold m > tbat i ' was worth a try!! Happily Stern found an eager r cruit. Thus. He de ided to continue.. The attainable operating time experiments. Gerlach al 0 encountered doubtful colleague . I wa then the equivaexcitement wer overwh lming wh n he received a lent of an assistant profe 5101'.cuJties p. nderstand.. o rlac h's r turn to Fran kfurt. Stern had moved to the University of Roremov d the detector flange. It took me quite a time before r took this idea seriou 1.and giving the address: From Gedanken to Danken fter hatching his idea in a warm b d. .erGoldman' C11 que bad a ved OUl' spoil an p rimental run. so my 56 December 2003 PhySics Today http://www. St rn' a e m. only 11 meager film of silver atoms. It wa like devaloping a photographic film. 1"~ ted. r e me sage: "Bohr i too low to afford good cigars. Bo. Gerlach and Stern began using a photographic development proces . who until then had not heard of space quantizaeioa. But SW' lou. he was incredulous when. 1 thought always that l pace] quantization was a JUud of symbolic expression fo~' something which you dorn''l.jnc]uding Deby . [ion: "Attached [ls] the experimental proof of dlre diona. so I moked bad right after all. But he could see stock as a professor of theoretical physics. Retook advantage of the great in erast in Einst in and relativity theory by presen ing a .

tbe third only 1:0 the laharatory air .8 few meters that sulfurous breath.ut a. Likeyou interpre. . 'ularion Dou! this with [Paull Ehrenfe 1. My hope to [do nq.l\. it remained a mysMore important is whether this proves thE' e)j:is'lencemf space quartti. The aJ. Meanwhile.. odium vapor' similar efforts by oth-Wo.that fram L l. G J" lach and Stern were even able t determine.mong the the follow~l'\g post tds Reactions to the Stern-Gerlach Experiment Franck..and sodium are zero. was withago. accuracy of about ]'0%. Irttp:/IWWW. But xpostrre to cigar smoke cally all eurr nt textbooks deserib the Stern-Gerlach quickly blackened -the region of the slide outsid the splitting as demonstrafing electron spin without pointing mask.plittjng tc spin that we hav found did not appear until 1927. the beam coincidence. -Albert Eins:tein (1679":1955) .)'.zatil:ln. spJ.This nvlnced me once an.lir). We ally due to spin.k in 192~. turned out to have no discernible effect.• The results were. your .pi c· s. [Heinrich] Rubens considers the experimenu I r~sult to be . In a few llnes. not hf2w as presumed in the Bohr abo. Gerlach came to Rostock lat r in -Niels Bohr (1885-19&2) H)22 and tried in vain to observe iti:n Thi~ should' conver! even the nonbehever Stem. th lack of magnetic birefrinparallel O~ OpjllQ d. Nrels Bohr. hut. The fact that make did the trick. and ma ked porti 0 s of them in to the shape of the magnet pole an uncanny way." Tho a and other 'P11Z~eB.'s skepticism.aJsyslem •.sible ba eel on the current frheQf ti all m hods: i~should tak!. immediately responded: "I don't b lieve it!" Therefbre. whereas Gerlach. when Ronald Fraser noted.igomerlt of the atom without collision via radiative [e changel ~ not Compren(!n. fl~ge 10. out his typical cigar. Those ada completety new orientation. vances made the Bohr model obsolete -Isidor 1. is..<IS one could provide d~eQ~etiC:ial gene b came a more rnsistent puzreasons forlhe latter assertion.1. .pnysiostoday. beginning grad~~te Stu el1[ bac:.astoundi'ng. we evaperated a comparable amount of silver onbo three glass slides. 'P rimental results in this w~y that the 10m ate oriented only wise.Iantum origIn of electricity and its connection with alQmjc structure. when told the cigar story many year venting tile apparatus and removing the plate.ut tf. We think that they had discovered. mORoIayel: of silver atoms (roughly 1010 m0deL 'I'M magnetic moment is tlue solely to a half unit of spin angular momen urn. Rabi (1898-19(18) but enhanced the cope and ignificance of pae quantization./OS [for the eyes] the spilee~uatJtl2. However. but not normal to the freid. Einstein nd Paul Ehl' nfest runongotbers struggl d to und rstand how the atomic ll'lagnets could take up definite. Becaus ~heinteraction energy The most Irrterestln achievement t thls paint is the experiment of St rn and Gerlach. evem vigorously. in the role of Gerlach. This direendemonstratinn of f:l'patial quantization was immedlately acc.{) xchange energy. Then one of us ( 'riedIich). By heating a wire in vacuum. One slide was then exposed at hart range the postulation of electron spin in 1925 should very soon have led to a reinterpretation of the SGE splitting a re.e~experimemal arrangement Ste~f' and Qedaq. after th development of quan41m th ory. page December 2003 Phy.y de1'l'l0nstrateG! d IllCU. Rabi i from reference 8. it likely that Stern ilid have a: cigar in hand and baptized Yet another cigar th detector plate with smoke. such as What's really going on.1 field differs with . the other (Herschbach) in the role of Stern.. (-See Blso Rab i'5 ob itu81)1 for Qttf:J Stern in PrlV91CS1'OtM. 11. the s cond to puffs of smoke. a'tiQmselltel'ed th field with random -Jame Franck (~88. The orbital angular momentum of the silver image deposited on the eollector plate comprised Only atom is actually zero. hl'1peel WIth infieouily al"lG in : theaI!lOm. nonetheless very nearly On Bohr magneton by virtue of the Thomas factor of two.rnere than '100 years"f'or the atom to aHan. nOI ol'll.thev also proved the q1.{ldied whel1ll r ad aOP.. bad been puffing on a cheap cigar.a c ngratuJatolry message.1U th quote fr@r11 rnold A Somnnfelo app ared in the J ~22 edition . busy The late Ed win.tting. erlach spl:itting With the old theory proved to be a lucky acted the O-year old event.. that the ground-state or. the earliest attribution of the look d for contrast between the masked and unmasked 8.) Thfb~l. OCl:rJbe~1969.31jOrl of alOIllS in a maga netk fiell:l. to prepare t re t.d fOT all thall(ln ingenious classical mechurn mechanics and the' inclusion of anism was O\:ifand tha~we had to face the faGt tRllttheqLlantum phenomena r~lujre electron pin in the theory. The gratifying agreement of the Sternfor the Frankfurt dedication in February 2002 we reen.l~Practifurous breath 00 a slide...l'I]o. m~relyex:hal!ing sulbital angular momentum 'and associated magnetic moments of silver.portions of the slides (see figure 5).1 the original GE.of his classic book:" that from Albert Ein ein is in a March 1922 letter to Born. a. zle. that the magnetic moment of the silver atom wa tnd ad one Bohr magnt ton.2-19511) orientations ami . van d not recognized twtil1926. and Wolfgang P"EUJi re that Wahber Gerlach received in immediate respons to one shown in figure 4) he had ent. hydrogen.3. we would expeet that tainted breath.:j.their ori ntatfon. such as /As. I have done a little (:<1. 1II1eaSe tery how splitting could occur when add a few word of explanation to your puzzle. A curiou historical puzzle remains..1. Sm:rllFGerlach experiment . fnaccord their ~fe:v. within a few seconds to a few minutes depending on out that the intrepid experimenters had no idea it was spin whether the dose of smoke was profus or mild. The magnetic momenti. a. '.e hil1fed at by qusnlater. whether not occur t. shewing a photograph of the clearly re olved splitting e figure 4 .e:rt<. Yet tb discovery was double-edged. In vi w cfthe in.t~$.Land.tQm~cm2). although they w r. I . which accounts tor the twofold. After fur her exp rirnental l'efin ment and careful anal. -Arnold Sommerfeld (1 BfJ8-1951) of atoms with 1:. aroused by the SGE in 1922. ogen removed the slides. pr ordained orientations in the quote TAe (like messages from Jam a.lfgaft8 Pauli (19()O-SB) I'll had the same euteome. could vel!ltJry !~~"S I co-uld fll:\o w~ to fit the atorrnc -phen0rnena irtto some k:1IIli:l of menot 00 cleared up until several years Zeeman 'effed.olutely c.. ature thus was duplicitous in the chamber with dry ni .their density in the beam as so low that cQUision did 1 would be very grateful ii you or Stern could let me know.Sics Today 57 field. within an.epted a among the most camp Iling+eviderrce for quantum theory s e the box at right).

Th experiments Were far more difficult than he original SGE. St rn and Gerlach met again only once-io ZUrich in the eaJ"Iy 19608. Already by 1923. h retiredand settled in Berkeley lalifsrnia. after stud ing the magnetic deflection of bismuth and veral other 58. a Con ultant to the War Department (S1J1Cerenamed). "with th sword of Naz] m hanging over OUT beads. was the discovery of the anomalocs magnetic me1II1ents of the proton and deu t "ron·in 1933. However. using an opt. Four years later.with Immanuel E ermann and·· tto Frisch. at monolayerin. but "never 1'0visited Germany and refused to collect the pension du him. we found that the tup provided a simpl' means to detect beam. there he inherited the chair 'tba:thad been held by hi. Yet:in 1944. The d:etectoJ. unconditional reliability.eSof xperiment to I lueidate mysterious aapects of the radiometer effect. might hav been missed 40 years later in the telling orth hearing) of the cigar story.Figure 5. he did nat continu using molecular beams.tensiti s with spatial resolution of' a few microns. mal tructure. b ana his student Alice Golsen had made the first accurate measurementa of I'adiation pressuee.l ourl. At the end of the war.w. and -unil Sheth. When news came of the nuclear bomb dropped on Hir hima. Stern became professor of'physical chemistry at the' University of Hamburg. a .irnerdal physics. during World Wa.expre singin this wa hi abomination for Nazism. That role passed to 1. Gerlach steadfastly r sisted fanatics who attacked Einste. and during the postwar trauma sent them carepeekages.lll and "Je·wi. a profe Or of chemistry a Seoul Univerity in Korea.. Stern became a US citizen in 1939 and. L Rani. lop molecular beam methods. his reputation nllanced by the SGE. mentor Friedrich Paschen. "11 He kept in touch with some :r rmaa mends. the work had to be done. MorMver. fu work carried out with Do 00 hung. Abiding legacy amid bitter ashes Late ~l'l1922.11 40 years ago.physi estoday org .e of DOD Q(} smoke (see inse~). he contributed m uch to the rebuilding ot German sci nee and campaign d to ban nucl ar weapons. During Lh 'I'hird Reich." some colleagues even fea:I'ed he WaE contemplating suieid . Gerlach emphasized: "Whoever kn \\1' [ tarn] appreciated his op n-mindednes [and].15 Gerlach. he became 'head of the German n uclaar resea reh science". . Gerlach Was among the ten leading German scienti ts detained at Farm Hall by Allied forces.i'cal mieroscope backed by a charge-coupled device camera to read the image . Tha·· discovery astounded theorists and had a profound impact on nuclear physics: It revealed that the proton and neutron were not e] men ary particles but must: have int. who had become imbued with rnoleeular beams as a postdoetoral Iellow at Hambw-g. In 1945. their results showed that the pressure was proportional to the light intensity and ind pendent of the wavelength. Reen ctrnent authors. an undergraduate studen at: Harvard University. sl ide exposed t<!l the CIhun~and Sunflhetb.1 The r enactment inspired us to try a silver coated silicon wafer as a deposition detector for moleeular beams. HI Later. Stern CRIJIeto the US but never regained a pacesetting 1'01'6 in research. Gerlach "behaved like a routed general and apparently suffered a nervous breakdown of !!m"t ."" tern and :hi colleague oon had to emigrate. of the Stern-Gerlach cigar episode by the Br tislav Friedrich holds thesl ide as Dudley Hersehhach blews sulfurou br arh ont a. s rved a. and materials science. III an ohituary vnitten for Stern a few years later. There he undertook an ambitious program to dey. H often traveled to Em'ope. h pursued a major S6:1. G· rlach returned t. The silver film turns out cigar posu re te cigar smoke (not simply." The progr-am included major tss of everal fundamental aspeets ef quantum mechanics. In 1925.haped in the form of the magn pole pi ces-and the oute.{) Tubingen a proles or of exp r. it respond wen to hydrogen bromide and other halogens and likely will work well fOl' many molecules that r act with silver.r II. Much ofhis 13 ar research dealt with eh mical analysis ferromagnetism. Rather. also did much further enterprising research. he never joined the azi party. rather than ju t bad br ath. Th n Gerlach closed with:" ALhis farewell from htlp:/lwww.'is not Iimited to ulfur compounds. Estermann describes it. In accord with classical theory. because the magnetic moments of JIUcJei are a thousaud times smaller than those for electrons. December 2Q03 Physics Today metals.r (lila~k)pa rt of the . ilvercoaled gla s Iide ta test his hearing (or Otto Stern': tell in~ of lh~ story more tl1a. Gedach moved on to Munich as successor to Wllhelm Wi 11 and continued there until retirement in 1957. ulfurous breflith) to form tween the masked l to requir any VisIble contrasr be(light) part of the slide. IH Hi crowning achievement in callaboration.

. gBterm~n. Albert Einstein. ana Petraleum.l' Beams:' The Stale of the Ar! 2000. D. Hoffman Esta1es. Hu nd. R G. p. Springer. 1. 4. 2. Ramsey. K Mendel sohn. . Springer-Verlag. E "..nsti ut. The H'ismricai Dl!flelopmentof Qu. W.NewYork'"(2001).cle are not actual quotatiuns. 1Ii. Marmheim. Ne\ York (1959). 5 and 11. in rer: 8'. More 1'h'ings in Heaven and Earth: A elebratiolt ofPhJsicsat the . PhY'{'tum Th.lQrie ['1'he History of QualitulT1 Theory). p. :lTd ed. Avaflable online at b tp:llwww.. H. I gave him.:r und Hedwig Born. 'tha: tnvo{. : MAI{E LIGHT I 'WORK! You may need to chemICally ~ ~parllclea lnyour lab. Chemi. Ullcertaillty: The Life and Science of Werner Heisenberg. S. Bachmann. Recent ReS(l(Irch in Mof."". Ma. N. Ph.. This asht. My Life: Mollectiofls uta Nobel 4u1' ate.htIml 5. New Yo!'k (2001·. ])aec(a(u!> 127. Munich Germany (1969>. Reehenberg./. . Soc. 472 C1969J.benb'rg. Science. Advances in molecular beam research are abu:nilaJi!lUy tUlLS· trated in B. I.llbw:ger Verlag'S'handlullg. ad. the US Department of Energy.lactiQn of Paper» Dfldiwted to Otto Stern. ol.~i. See alsc J. 18. and provide the support to ma:k8 HgIUwerle iJhlll ~r future analysEIs. Bernstein.. Press. p. 103. see J. a~llsters 10 114 (1988). London (1973).ay of teUing stones."10 Like so milch else. Herscbbtlclri.ffilll!nn.. J.7l. r 1'1 8472869953 F" +1 8472136 99J4. A.ray endured a:ll those years till Berkeley-but our experimental apparatus. E termann eel. Nymphe.: The Essential Element. 163 14.~um.for helpful information. Germa:ny (1975). New York (1999. Rec. 1226 (1987).661 (1975 . Hitl. Sommerfeld.renishaw. ambridge. Re.¥! and Helmut RBchcflberg .. A'cad. eds. p. and R Ftf drich. bllt reeoll ctions cast in a firstperson voice to capture Iris w.(ml 'n(/I:(. Rigden. Born.Am .r. we custCiImI8ed Raman InsJ!IJmMt 10 satisfy them. Harvard Uranium Cll~b. A 114. Pauli. Alombau und: pehtrt:lm. 'p. 11. ([. Academic Press.lIIlnols 601~. part 2. Harvard U Press.: The: Secret Reccr. Th~ World of Walther Nernst: The Rise and Fall Qf German cience. 43. See also refs. 6277TriIIIum Blvd. or prodUCt tontamlnatioo material fhyourSEM.FnmkfuLt.e!lt194:3tste:rn. Vieweg. ed. 6. lab books. 501. Piiys. New York (1978). D.lc1y. Mol. New York (1992). and tl:\· originals of our resulta had burned during the Second Wwld War. Copernicus Books. 4. Angetl. A list of all of Stern's papers is contained in Z.. p. Macmillan. Braunschweig. H. W. tockholm Wl48}. p.J.a. bulk ma1eI1aIa at-11M or off-Une.ientllit and CiJti2ell.T. in memory of the months of hopeless triving to see pace quantization.oom www.• stermann ill I. that iasue alsoincludesan English tFanslation at bis 1921 paper in which he propo ed tb tern-Gerlach e perim ant.16--1955. Walther Gerlach: Bine Au waAI fl!l>S seinen Schri/'ten urui Briefen.22 on Reader ~JVic'e' Card .ingt.. Gellchicltte der Qu. Berlin (19&9).F. New ¥ork (19 2). n. Max Bem. 43. Nail. Ed.. 26. Gerlach.rl Int. Mehra. Bederson. 12.. sec also . H. Germany (1922).165 (1998). H. 95. December 2Q03 Physics Toctay 59 Circle nu mber .i.. 78. at Farm Hill. vol.:p. 9.ipzig) 10. ory. 8. Mass. rsoou Whatever your 8nIIytIcaI ned. W. ed. Herschbach. 213 (] 946 . Mass. Ie :ture. 212 (1927). 82. D: At.nebel. (2000).y». aTIIpal:goe. to DOD SOO Chu'fI{[ and Sunil Sheth for undertaking n project. A. USA. D. engl.. an ashtray with an inscription . reduced t'O a:~hes. Brie{wec/zllel J9... 10.lLusaCJ'E!I'Ilshaw. O.sclphysicsilaureat. and R. Mem. Begre. Freeman.. lC? O. earch Fund (or financial support. MaleculfJ. tUlllmro czlu'l. 215 (1973}. E. 123. See also 1. R. 25. Fraser Proe.oos cigar smoke and silver mirrors and to NSF. in Les Prix Nobel eTi 1946 Imprimerio Royale No) tedt and anal'. 2nu ed. F.idt·Bjjckil. fly( Springer and American Physical Society. 1.83. B1. The remimacencea l~y Stern included in this art. 7. ambridge. H!wsqhba~h. S. 3. Ca~s. llJjgden. 2'5. 121.-R. Bibliogrnphiscbes J. Scribner.412 (1969). Rttbi: Sc. Stlill.eCular Beams: A Col. • 1. We art! grateful to Horst c!:ufl. priIlgel'-Ve:rlag. 33K 18. can sUpply you WiItl a ftllly Aellil!haw Inc. (2002). 17. Phys. apply tnnevatlon E IS References orfuller' descriptions of the context and lega~C¥ of the tern~Gedach experim nt.

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