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Basically in the Stern and Gerlach experiment a beam of silver atoms was shot through a magnetic field and this single beam was divided (halved) into two beams after it passed through the magnetic field, this is why it +1/2 and -1/2. As it has been mentioned before, this also tells if an electron is spin up or spin down.
The + and - is not an arbitrary value and comes from quantum mechanical derivations that are beyond the scope of the class. All you need to understand is how the sign of the term is related to spin up or spin down.
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