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Theoretical Considerations relating to the Single-Lined and the Many-Lined Spectrum of Mercury

Millikan, R. A. (1917) Theoretical Considerations relating to the Single-Lined and the Many-Lined Spectrum of Mercury. Physical Review, 9 (5). pp. 378-382. ISSN 0031-899X.

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At the meeting of the Physical Society of Chicago in November, 1914, I raised a question as to the reality of the so-called one-line spectrum which had seemed to appear in Franck's and Hertz's experiment. I pointed out that if we took the point of view of the pure experimentalist, Wood's demonstration of the enormous absorbing and emitting power of mercury vapor for line of wave-length 2536 A. along with its transparency for other lines means that with increasing volume excitation the relative intensity of these other lines to that of 2536 must continually increase. Otherwise stated, the opacity of the mercury vapor for line 2536 requires that the light of this wave-length which comes out of a tube come only from the surface layers, while the light of other wave-lengths will come from the whole volume. With weak excitation, therefore, line 2536 might be enormously more intense than the other lines and thus appear on Franck's and Hertz's photographic plates, although the other lines might still be present but merely be too weak to be noticed with the exposures used.

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Additional Information:© 1917 The American Physical Society.
Issue or Number:5
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20140804-125011787
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Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:47905
Deposited By: George Porter
Deposited On:04 Aug 2014 20:44
Last Modified:03 Oct 2019 06:58

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