The Air Afterglow Revisited

  • Frederick Kaufman


To begin with a little soul-searching: The fact that science and technology are advancing at an ever accelerating rate, while both the number of investigators working in a given field and their level of support are at best levelling off, has put us in a new bind. Blessed with marvellous gadgets of all types, photomultipliers capable of detecting a few light quanta, tunable lasers of great power, narrow spectral width, and ultrashort repetitive flash duration, with ultrahigh vacuum techniques and ultrafast time resolution, with a bulging arsenal of analytical methods for measuring neutral or charged species in specific quantum states, etc., etc., our ability to study physical and chemical processes ever more minutely appears to be without limit. This widens immensely the discrepancy between what is doable technologically and what can actually be undertaken, particularly when we remember how expensive most of our new ‘toys’ are. The bind is, then, the increasing selectivity which we must exercise in our choice of systems and problems to work on, since neither the ‘Everest’ justification (‘because it is there’) nor the ‘Part XXIV in a series of continuing studies’ justification is quite good enough.


Radiative Lifetime Vibrational Relaxation Energy Transfer Mechanism Near Infrared Radiation Collision Complex 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1973

Authors and Affiliations

  • Frederick Kaufman
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of ChemistryUniversity of PittsburghPittsburghUSA

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