The spectrum of neutral helium

Raman, C. V. (1922) The spectrum of neutral helium Nature, 110 (2769). pp. 700-701. ISSN 0028-0836

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A most significant feature of the success of the quantum theory in explaining the sequence of radiation-frequencies forming the Balmer type of series in the spectra of hydrogen and ionised helium is that it also offers an intelligible explanation of the differences in the intensities of the successive lines in the sequence, and that its postulates are not inconsistent with the known facts regarding the sizes of the atoms in their normal states. The fundamental assumption in the theory is that the states of the atom represented by increasing quantum numbers depart more and more from the normal state, and the greater intensities of the earlier lines in a sequence are readily understood as due to the greater probability of transitions actually occurring between states represented by smaller quantum numbers.

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