Research Papers in Physics and Astronomy


Date of this Version

November 1998


Published in Physical Review Letters, VOLUME 81, NUMBER 21, November 1998. Copyright © 1998 The American Physical Society. Used by permission.


In their Comment [1] to our Letter [2], Rutherford and Grobe first disagree with our conclusion that “a tabletop Stern-Gerlach filter is feasible.” Given our estimate of the throughput for such a device, ~0.3 electrons/s, we were clearly not proposing it as an alternative to standard polarized electron sources (~1015 electrons/s). The main argument for “feasibility” is based on the relatively low currents required to establish the solenoidal magnetic field (5 A)—hence the use of the word “tabletop” in the abstract. In retrospect, a better statement would have been that “experimental demonstration of such a spin-splitting effect may be possible.” No mention was made of space charge effects because they are negligible for the extremely low beam currents in question.

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