The Zeeman Effect

The Zeeman Effect

. In a sunspot the spectral lines that are normally at a single wavelength become split into two or three components in the presence of a magnetic field, depending on the orientation of the field with respect to the line of sight. The separation of the outermost components is proportional to the strength of the magnetic field, in this sunspot about 0.4 Tesla, or 4,000 Gauss. The components also have a circular or plane polarization, and the circular polarization, or orientation, indicates the direction, or polarity of the longitudinal magnetic field. [Courtesy of the National Optical Astronomy Observatories (NOAO).]

Copyright 2010, Professor Kenneth R. Lang, Tufts University