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Definition of ZEEMAN EFFECT
: the splitting of a single spectral line into two or more lines of different frequencies observed when radiation (as light) originates in a magnetic field
Origin of ZEEMAN EFFECT
First Known Use: 1899
Splitting of a spectral line (seespectrum) into two or more lines of different frequencies. The effect occurs when the light source is placed in a magnetic field. It has helped identify the energy levels in atoms; it also provides a means of studying atomic nuclei and electron paramagnetic resonance (seemagnetic resonance) and is used in measuring the magnetic field of the Sun and other stars. It was discovered in 1896 by Pieter Zeeman (1865–1943); he shared the second Nobel Prize for Physics (1902) with Hendrik Antoon Lorentz, who had hypothesized that a magnetic field would affect the frequency of the light emitted.