Stark Effect

  • K. J. Kollath
  • M. C. Standage
Part of the Physics of Atoms and Molecules book series (PAMO)

Abstract

At the turn of this century the splitting and shift of spectral lines emitted by atoms in an electric field were considered too small to be detected in a laboratory experiment/13 It therefore came as a surprise when in 1913 Stark(2) and LoSurdo(3) independently discovered considerable splittings of the Baimer lines of hydrogen in electric fields of the order of 105 Vcm-1. Stark applied electric fields to canal rays which traveled through a condenser with a gap small enough to avoid discharges. Measuring the applied voltage for a known condenser gap, Stark could observe a splitting of the Balmer lines that was linear in the electric field strength. A more detailed analysis shows that the exceptionally close energy gap between states of different parity in the hydrogen spectrum is responsible for this very large and linear effect in the Balmer lines, and that most other atoms have the small second-order Stark effect originally expected.

Keywords

Anisotropy Mercury Manifold Cadmium Recombination 

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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1979

Authors and Affiliations

  • K. J. Kollath
    • 1
  • M. C. Standage
    • 2
  1. 1.Universität MünsterMünsterGermany
  2. 2.Griffith UniversityBrisbaneAustralia

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