The angular momentum of light

Raman, C. V. (1931) The angular momentum of light Nature, 128 (3230). p. 545. ISSN 0028-0836

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The work of Compton on X-ray scattering led to the general acceptance of the idea that the scattering of radiation by a material particle is a unitary process in which energy and linear momentum are conserved. A molecule is, however, a much more complicated structure than an electron, and the conservation principles by themselves would give us an erroneous idea of what we should expect in light-scattering. This follows from the fact that a molecule has in general three degrees of freedom of rotation, several degrees of freedom of vibration according to its complexity, and various possible modes of electronic excitation, and that each of these may correspond to one or other of an extended series of quantum numbers. Restricting ourselves to the cases in which the molecule takes up a part of the energy of the quantum, the conservation principles would indicate that the spectrum of the scattered light should contain an immense number of new lines.

Item Type:Article
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Deposited On:04 Aug 2011 07:34
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