Students become acquainted with the Spins Simulations of Stern-Gerlach Experiments and record measurement probabilities of spin components for a spin-1/2 system. Students start developing intuitions for the results of quantum measurements for this system.
Getting Acquainted with the Stern Gerlach Experiment Simulation
Measure a single particle's z-component of spin \(S_z\)
The default experiment is to measure \(S_x\) so we need to change the orientation of the analyzer.
Change the orientation of the analyzer by clicking on “\(X\)” label and selecting “\(Z\)”.
To send 1 particle through the experiment, click on the box labeled “1” on the oven (the green box on the left). Each measurement result will either be \(S_z=\frac{+\hbar}{2}\) or \(S_z=\frac{-\hbar}{2}\). Do this several times.
Do you notice any patterns?
- Try sending 10,000 atoms through the experiment.
Try sending atoms continuously by pressing the “Start” button.
What are you noticing about these experiments?
- Do some experimenting and determine the probability that a particle leaving the oven will end up in the top counter. How confident are you in your estimate?