Introduction to the SPINS Program (Lecture, 10 minutes)

spins_unit_sg_experiment.ppt Page 12

  • Have students open the Stern Gerlach simulation on their computers.
  • Let the students explore the program for several minutes and play with some of the software's capabilities.
  • Pull the class back together and ask them what each object in the simulation represents.
  • Be sure to tell the students that the oven fires out random states; to prepare the samples in a state that we want to use for any experiment, the first Stern-Gerlach device in the setup must be used for the preparation. Without the first device we would not be able to select a beam consisting only of atoms deflected in either spin up or spin down when the inhomogeneous magnetic field is aligned along any particular axis.
  • Once a beam is 'prepared' with a certain spin, then we can use a second device to analyze the spin - hence the names 'state preparation device' and 'analyzer'.
  • If time permits, have students set up the situation shown in slide 12 and run the simulation to make sure they can run the simulation before starting the lab.

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