Hyperfine Structure

The term hyperfine structure refers to a collection of different effects leading to small shifts and splittings in the energy levels of atoms, molecules and ions. The name is a reference to the fine structure which results from the interaction between the magnetic moments associated with electron spin and the electrons' orbital angular momentum. Hyperfine structure, with energy shifts typically orders of magnitude smaller than the fine structure, results from the interactions of the nucleus (or nuclei, in molecules) with internally generated electric and magnetic fields.

In atoms, hyperfine structure occurs due to the energy of the nuclear magnetic dipole moment in the magnetic field generated by the electrons, and the energy of the nuclear electric quadrupole moment in the electric field gradient due to the distribution of charge within the atom. Molecular hyperfine structure is generally dominated by these two effects, but also includes the energy associated with the interaction between the magnetic moments associated with different magnetic nuclei in a molecule, as well as between the nuclear magnetic moments and the magnetic field generated by the rotation of the molecule.

Read more about Hyperfine Structure:  History, Theory, Measurements

Other articles related to "hyperfine structure, hyperfine":

Hyperfine Structure - Applications - Qubit in Ion-trap Quantum Computing
... The hyperfine states of a trapped ion are commonly used for storing qubits in ion-trap quantum computing ... region, making it possible to drive hyperfine transitions using microwave radiation ...
Doppler Cooling - Limitations - Atomic Structure
... Furthermore, the more hyperfine structure an atom has, the more ways there are for it to emit a photon from the upper state and not return to its original state, putting it ... pump those atoms back into the excited state and try again, but the more complex the hyperfine structure is, the more (narrow-band, frequency locked) lasers are required ... have not been laser cooled in addition to hyperfine structure, molecules also have rovibronic couplings and so can also decay into excited rotational or vibrational ...

Famous quotes containing the word structure:

    ... the structure of a page of good prose is, analyzed logically, not something frozen but the vibrating of a bridge, which changes with every step one takes on it.
    Robert Musil (1880–1942)