By: Gerhard Herzberg
This book has long been recognized as one of the most satisfactory introductions to atomic spectra and their relationship to atomic structure. It is especially valuable to physics and physical chemists who are specialists in other fields, but require a comprehensive basic knowledge of atomic spectra because of their significance to their own work.
Treatment throughout is physical rather than mathematical, with experiment serving as a starting point for theory. Complex mathematics are avoided; results of calculation are accepted without proof, while references are given to places where detailed proofs may be found.
Partial Contents: Simplest Line Spectra and the Elements of Atomic Theory: 1. Empirical hydrogen terms. 2. Bohr theory of Balmer terms. 3. Energy level diagrams. 4. Wave mechanics, quantum mechanics. 5. Alkali spectra. 6. Spectrum of helium and alkaline earths. Multiplet Structure of Line Spectra and Electron Spin: 1. Empirical facts, their formal explanation. 2. Physical explanation of quantum numbers. 3. Space quantization (Zeeman effect, Stark effect). Building-up Principle and Periodic System of the Elements: 1. Pauli principle. 2. Determination of term type from electron configuration. 3. Periodic system of the elements. Finer Details of Atomic Spectra: 1. Intensities of spectral lines. 2. Series limits for outer electrons. 3. Coupling. 4. The interval rule. Hyperfine Structure of Spectral Lines: Isotope effect, nuclear spin. Experimental Results and Applications: 1. Energy level diagrams and ionization potentials. 2. Magnetic moment and susceptibility. 3. Chemical applications. 80 illustrations.
Gerhard Herzberg: Exploring the Atomic Spectra
Dr. Gerhard Herzberg was among the thousands of European mathematicians and scientists who emigrated to North America from Germany and other central European countries during the 1930s. Dr. Herzberg left Germany in 1935 and first took up a guest professorship at The University of Saskatchewan. After a few years at The University of Chicago, he returned to Canada in 1948 and assumed the first of several positions at Canada's National Research Council.
His classic work on spectroscopy, Atomic Spectra and Atomic Structure was published by Prentice-Hall in 1937 and first reprinted by Dover, with corrections, in 1944. Still in print in 2011, Atomic Spectra and Atomic Structure is now in its 36th Dover printing, by far the record for any Dover scientific book. The retail price of the first Dover edition was $1.95 in 1944, and the book is $13.95 today, surely better than the rate of inflation over the past 67 years.
Later in his career, Dr. Herzberg published his encyclopedic four-volume work, Molecular Spectra and Molecular Structure. He received the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 1971, ". . . for his contributions to the knowledge of electronic structure and geometry of molecules, particularly free radicals."
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