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In 1896 Dutch physicist Pieter Zeeman discovered that, when a magnetic field
is applied, an energy splitting is observed in the spectra emitted by certain
atom (Nave, 2014; University of Tennessee, 2007). Its known that the potential
energy in a magnetic dipole when a magnetic field is exerted is given by
I ( ) = * B
Where the magnetic dipole given by the orbital angular momentum(University
of Tennessee, 2007) is

2 me

Knowing that angular momentum is quantized we have(Nave, 2014)

E=m l

B=ml B B
4 m

The equation defined above worked for a fair amount of atoms and the
predictions were very accurate, thats why it was so strange for physicists in
the 19th century when in 1897 Thomas Preston discovered that there were a lot
of atoms that do not follow the rules defined for the normal Zeeman effect,
instead the splitting in the fine structure seemed disorganized and the number
of lines predicted was inconsistent whit the mathematical description for the
normal Zeeman effect, this puzzled physicists from around the word until an
interesting observation made by Alfred Land (Forman, 1970) came through.
If we consider that the total angular momentum of the atom is not only defined
by Bohrs magneton but instead by the sum of the magneton and some extra
momentum, it is possible to predict this anomalous effects, this extra
momentum is called the spin of the electron. Then the explanation of this
phenomena follows like this: when the spin of a particular atom is 0, then a
normal Zeeman effect will be observed, instead if the spin of the atom is
nonzero then the anomalous Zeeman effect will show.
Furthermore, the mathematical description of the Anomalous Zeeman effect is
given by the following (University of California San Diego, 2015)If we consider
an atom whit angular momentum L and spin momentum S, then the total
angular momentum (J) is given by the sum

J =L+ S
Where the total magnetic moment is
=gl B

gs B

Where gl=1 a n d g s=2 thus


B 2
( L+ 2 S )

Finally we can write the energy shift in the form

E= g m j

( 4ehmB )= g m B

Where g is the Land factor, defined by

g= 1+

j ( j + 1 )+ s ( s+1 )+l ( l +1 )
2 j ( j+ 1 )

In this experiment we used a high resolution spectrograph in order to observe

the fine structure of the Argon when a magnetic field close to 1T is applied, we
focused the spectrograph in the infrared spectrum so we could find the lines in
the spectrum with a wavelength of approximately 727,3nm. Then we compared
our observations with a calibrated Neon line with a wavelength close to
724,5nm. Finally we measured the Argon spectrum perpendicular and parallel
to the magnetic field in order to find the places of the sigma and pi lines in the
observed data.
Forman, P. (1970). Alfred Land and the Anomalous Zeeman Effect, 1919-1921.
Historical Studies in the Physical Sciences, 2, 153261.
Nave, R. (2014). Zeeman Effect. Retrieved October 26, 2015, from
University of California San Diego. (2015). The Zeeman Effect. Retrieved
November 9, 2015, from
University of Tennessee, K. (2007). The Zeeman Effect. Retrieved October 26,
2015, from