In this experiment, the student observes the interference pattern from a Fabry-Perot interferometer that results from the 546.1 nm spectral line of a mercury lamp immersed in a uniform magnetic field. The magnetic field is varied from zero to nearly 1 Tesla.
Initially, the light is viewed along an axis perpendicular to the magnetic field axis. A polarizer is used to show the three lines due to light that is polarized parallel to the field axis and to show the six lines that are polarized perpendicular to the field axis. The pattern may also be viewed along the field axis where the light is circularly polarized.
Finally, the pattern that is polarized perpendicular to the field axis is used to calculate the Bohr magneton. All atomic magnetic moments are integral or half-integral multiples of the Bohr magneton.
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