Atoms with a Single Valence Electron
The spectroscopic analysis of the radiation emitted by atomic and molecular substances in the most varied conditions of pressure and temperature has been carried on for a long time, starting from the discovery of absorption lines in the solar spectrum by Fraunhofer in 1817. These studies have resulted, over the years, in the emergence of a new discipline of experimental and theoretical physics that is called spectroscopy. This discipline had a fundamental historical importance for the understanding of the atomic structure, although it was not until the advent of quantum mechanics that a rigorous interpretation of observations in the laboratory and astrophysical plasmas could be given. In this volume we present the basic concepts of spectroscopy using a modern approach, starting by giving a description (at increasing levels of sophistication) of the simpler spectra, namely those related to atoms containing only one valence electron (hydrogenic atoms, alkali metals and related isoelectronic sequences). The complications introduced by the presence of more valence electrons are described in later chapters.
KeywordsAngular Momentum Quantum Number Spectral Line Dirac Equation Orbital Angular Momentum
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