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Journal of the Optical Society of America

Journal of the Optical Society of America

  • Vol. 41, Iss. 3 — Mar. 1, 1951
  • pp: 148–151

Fundamental Research in Molecular Spectra

R. W. B. PEARSE  »View Author Affiliations

JOSA, Vol. 41, Issue 3, pp. 148-151 (1951)

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This paper considers how the cooperation of physicists and astrophysicists in the field of spectroscopy may be usefully extended. Assuming that an important part of the work is the provision of laboratory data, a review is presented on the present position with regard to the spectra of diatomic and simple polyatomic molecules.

In recent years, owing largely to improvements in the equipment available at observatories, there has been a growing interest in molecular spectra among astrophysicists. In particular, band systems have been studied in spectra of cooler stars, spectra of the planets, spectra of comets, absorption and emission spectra of the earth’s atmosphere, and absorption in interstellar space.

Since in many cases the conditions existing in the astrophysical source differ greatly from those existing in laboratory sources, some of the features of these spectra have proved difficult to identify, and this fact has given considerable stimulus to further laboratory research.

As progress is made, however, and the conditions obtaining in these sources are better understood, it appears likely that valuable information regarding physical and chemical processes may be gleaned from behavior under these conditions which cannot be duplicated in the laboratory. Here is the beginning of astrochemistry or even of astrophysics applied to combustion.

R. W. B. PEARSE, "Fundamental Research in Molecular Spectra," J. Opt. Soc. Am. 41, 148-151 (1951)

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  1. G. Herzberg, Molecular Spectra and Molecular Structure: I, Diatomic Molecules (D. Van Nostrand Company, Inc., New York, 1950), second edition.
  2. R. W. B. Pearse and A. G. Gaydon, The Identification of Molecular Spectra (John Wiley and Sons, Inc., New York, 1950), second edition.
  3. For bibliography of the original papers see references 1 and 2.
  4. T. E. Nevin, Proc. R.I.A. 48, 1 (1942); 50, 123 (1945); and T. E. Nevin and P. J. Doyle, Proc. R.I.A., 52, 35 (1948). 5J. Bacher, Helv. Phys. Acta. 21, 379 (1948).
  5. J. Bacher, Helv. Phys. Acta. 21, 379 (1948).
  6. Vetury Ramakrishna Rao, D.Sc. thesis, Andhra (1949).
  7. A. G. Gaydon, Dissociation Energies and Spectra of Diatomic Molecules (1947).
  8. C. A. Fowler, Phys. Rev. 59, 645 (1941).
  9. G. Porter, Proc. Roy. Soc. (London) 200, 284 (1950).
  10. G. Herzberg, The Atmospheres of the Earth and Planets, edited by Gerard P. Kuiper (University of Chicago Press, Chicago, Ill., 1949), Chapter XIII.

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