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Zeeman effect

noun, Physics, Optics.
the dividing of a spectral line or lines as a result of placing a radiation source in a magnetic field. The division consists of three equally spaced lines (normal Zeeman effect) in systems for which the spin quantum number is zero, or of three or more unequally spaced lines (anomalous Zeeman effect) in systems for which the spin quantum number is not zero.
Also called Zeeman splitting.
Origin of Zeeman effect
First recorded in 1895-1900; named after P. Zeeman Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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British Dictionary definitions for Zeeman effect

Zeeman effect

the splitting of a spectral line of a substance into several closely spaced lines when the substance is placed in a magnetic field
Word Origin
C20: named after Pieter Zeeman (1865–1943), Dutch physicist
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Zeeman effect in Science
Zeeman effect  
The splitting of single spectral lines of an emission or absorption spectrum of a substance into three or more components when the substance is placed in a magnetic field. The effect occurs when several electron orbitals in the same shell, which normally have the same energy level, have different energies due to their different orientations in the magnetic field. A normal Zeeman effect is observed when a spectral line of an atom splits into three lines under a magnetic field. An anomalous Zeeman effect is observed if the spectral line splits into more than three lines. Astronomers can use the Zeeman effect to measure magnetic fields of stars. Compare Stark effect.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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