Activity: Magnetic Moment & Stern-Gerlach Experiments

Quantum Fundamentals 2022 (3 years)
Students consider the relation (1) between the angular momentum and magnetic moment for a current loop and (2) the force on a magnetic moment in an inhomogeneous magnetic field. Students make a (classical) prediction of the outcome of a Stern-Gerlach experiment.
What students learn
  • Spin and magnetic moment are related.
  • Magnetic moments experience a force from an inhomogeneous magnetic field
  • Classically, you'd expect a continuous smear in a Stern-Gerlach experiment, but what you get is two dots.
  • Media
    • activity_media/Ph425_MagneticMoment.pptx
None
  • assignment Magnetic susceptibility

    assignment Homework

    Magnetic susceptibility
    Paramagnet Magnetic susceptibility Thermal and Statistical Physics 2020

    Consider a paramagnet, which is a material with \(n\) spins per unit volume each of which may each be either “up” or “down”. The spins have energy \(\pm mB\) where \(m\) is the magnetic dipole moment of a single spin, and there is no interaction between spins. The magnetization \(M\) is defined as the total magnetic moment divided by the total volume. Hint: each individual spin may be treated as a two-state system, which you have already worked with above.

    Plot of magnetization vs. B field

    1. Find the Helmholtz free energy of a paramagnetic system (assume \(N\) total spins) and show that \(\frac{F}{NkT}\) is a function of only the ratio \(x\equiv \frac{mB}{kT}\).

    2. Use the canonical ensemble (i.e. partition function and probabilities) to find an exact expression for the total magentization \(M\) (which is the total dipole moment per unit volume) and the susceptibility \begin{align} \chi\equiv\left(\frac{\partial M}{\partial B}\right)_T \end{align} as a function of temperature and magnetic field for the model system of magnetic moments in a magnetic field. The result for the magnetization is \begin{align} M=nm\tanh\left(\frac{mB}{kT}\right) \end{align} where \(n\) is the number of spins per unit volume. The figure shows what this magnetization looks like.

    3. Show that the susceptibility is \(\chi=\frac{nm^2}{kT}\) in the limit \(mB\ll kT\).

  • group A glass of water

    group Small Group Activity

    30 min.

    A glass of water
    Energy and Entropy 2021 (2 years)

    thermodynamics intensive extensive temperature volume energy entropy

    Students generate a list of properties a glass of water might have. The class then discusses and categorizes those properties.
  • face Statistical Analysis of Stern-Gerlach Experiments
  • assignment Paramagnetism

    assignment Homework

    Paramagnetism
    Energy Temperature Paramagnetism Thermal and Statistical Physics 2020 Find the equilibrium value at temperature \(T\) of the fractional magnetization \begin{equation} \frac{\mu_{tot}}{Nm} \equiv \frac{2\langle s\rangle}{N} \end{equation} of a system of \(N\) spins each of magnetic moment \(m\) in a magnetic field \(B\). The spin excess is \(2s\). The energy of this system is given by \begin{align} U &= -\mu_{tot}B \end{align} where \(\mu_{tot}\) is the total magnetization. Take the entropy as the logarithm of the multiplicity \(g(N,s)\) as given in (1.35 in the text): \begin{equation} S(s) \approx k_B\log g(N,0) - k_B\frac{2s^2}{N} \end{equation} for \(|s|\ll N\), where \(s\) is the spin excess, which is related to the magnetization by \(\mu_{tot} = 2sm\). Hint: Show that in this approximation \begin{equation} S(U) = S_0 - k_B\frac{U^2}{2m^2B^2N}, \end{equation} with \(S_0=k_B\log g(N,0)\). Further, show that \(\frac1{kT} = -\frac{U}{m^2B^2N}\), where \(U\) denotes \(\langle U\rangle\), the thermal average energy.
  • face Entropy and Temperature

    face Lecture

    120 min.

    Entropy and Temperature
    Thermal and Statistical Physics 2020

    paramagnet entropy temperature statistical mechanics

    These lecture notes for the second week of Thermal and Statistical Physics involve relating entropy and temperature in the microcanonical ensemble, using a paramagnet as an example. These notes include a few small group activities.
  • group Sequential Stern-Gerlach Experiments

    group Small Group Activity

    10 min.

    Sequential Stern-Gerlach Experiments
    Quantum Fundamentals 2022 (3 years)
  • group Quantum Measurement Play

    group Small Group Activity

    30 min.

    Quantum Measurement Play
    Quantum Fundamentals 2022 (2 years)

    Quantum Measurement Projection Operators Spin-1/2

    The instructor and students do a skit where students represent quantum states that are “measured” by the instructor resulting in a state collapse.
  • assignment Nucleus in a Magnetic Field

    assignment Homework

    Nucleus in a Magnetic Field
    Energy and Entropy 2021 (2 years)

    Nuclei of a particular isotope species contained in a crystal have spin \(I=1\), and thus, \(m = \{+1,0,-1\}\). The interaction between the nuclear quadrupole moment and the gradient of the crystalline electric field produces a situation where the nucleus has the same energy, \(E=\varepsilon\), in the state \(m=+1\) and the state \(m=-1\), compared with an energy \(E=0\) in the state \(m=0\), i.e. each nucleus can be in one of 3 states, two of which have energy \(E=\varepsilon\) and one has energy \(E=0\).

    1. Find the Helmholtz free energy \(F = U-TS\) for a crystal containing \(N\) nuclei which do not interact with each other.

    2. Find an expression for the entropy as a function of temperature for this system. (Hint: use results of part a.)

    3. Indicate what your results predict for the entropy at the extremes of very high temperature and very low temperature.

  • assignment Unknowns Spin-1/2 Brief

    assignment Homework

    Unknowns Spin-1/2 Brief
    Quantum Fundamentals 2022 (2 years) With the Spins simulation set for a spin 1/2 system, measure the probabilities of all the possible spin components for each of the unknown initial states \(\left|{\psi_3}\right\rangle \) and \(\left|{\psi_4}\right\rangle \).
    1. Use your measured probabilities to find each of the unknown states as a linear superposition of the \(S_z\)-basis states \(\left|{+}\right\rangle \) and \(\left|{-}\right\rangle \).
    2. Articulate a Process: Write a set of general instructions that would allow another student in next year's class to find an unknown state from measured probabilities.
    3. Compare Theory with Experiment: Design an experiment that will allow you to test whether your prediction for each of the unknown states is correct. Describe your experiment here, clearly but succinctly, as if you were writing it up for a paper. Do the experiment and discuss your results.
    4. Make a Conceptual Connection: In general, can you determine a quantum state with spin-component probability measurements in only two spin-component-directions? Why or why not?
  • assignment Magnetic Field and Current

    assignment Homework

    Magnetic Field and Current
    Static Fields 2022 (3 years) Consider the magnetic field \[ \vec{B}(s,\phi,z)= \begin{cases} 0&0\le s<a\\ \alpha \frac{1}{s}(s^4-a^4)\, \hat{\phi}&a<s<b\\ 0&s>b \end{cases} \]
    1. Use step and/or delta functions to write this magnetic field as a single expression valid everywhere in space.
    2. Find a formula for the current density that creates this magnetic field.
    3. Interpret your formula for the current density, i.e. explain briefly in words where the current is.

Learning Outcomes
  • ph425: 3) Interpret and predict the probabilistic outcomes of sequential Stern-Gerlach experiments, including a quantum interferometer