I have been working through some past exam papers for my Quantum Mechanics module, and one of the questions is what would be different about observing the results of the Stern-Gerlach experiment when using fluorine (Z=9) and sodium (Z=11)

I think that the difference would be something to do with the fact that the unpaired electron in each case is in a different shell, as I have been told to assume that the shells are filled in the order 1s 2s 2p 3s.

I was just wondering if someone would be able to really simply explain what the difference would be (if any) and why it occurs. I think I understand the actual experiment and why it was evidence for spin and everything, I just don't know what point I'm missing here (though I'm sure it's very simple!) I'll include the actual question from the exam paper below

Thanks in advance :)

Briefly explain how the Stern-Gerlach experiment provides evidence for the electron possessing half-integer spin. A student performs two experiments with a Stern-Gerlach apparatus. In the first experiment, a beam of neutral sodium atoms (Z = 11) is passed through the apparatus. In the second, a beam of neutral fluorine atoms (Z = 9) is passed through the apparatus. Explain what you would expect to observe in each case. (You may assume that electron shells are filled in the order 1s, 2s, 2p, 3s.)


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