A system of physical chemistry - Index of


A system of physical chemistry - Index of



E =

Let us write E^ = -rr-, then E = J (•

It will thus be seen that Ea is a rate (the rate of X).

change of E with

We might also define it as the density of the energy radiated from

a spectral region the wave-length limits of which differ by unity. This,

though correct, is physically inconceivable. It would entail the existence

of a spectrum the wave-length limits of which differ i by cm., a difference

enormous compared to any actual limits reached. It is therefore much

less confusing to think of Ea as being the small energy-density increment

AE divided by the correspondingly small spectral width A\ (or

more accurately ^ as above). The expressi6n E^^A or ^ dk is there-

fore the energy-density of the radiation between \ and X -h dk. Planck

gives an analogous significance to the term Uvdv. Thus the densityenergy-

of the total spectrum may be written—

or writing «,, = ^- , E

E =


The term iii, is also a rate, or it may be defined as the density of the

energy radiated from a spectral region, the limits of the vibration fre-

a different order

quency differing by unity. Numerically ii^, is of quite

of magnitude from Ea. Thus, since X = -, where c is the velocity of

light, it is evident that -y = -.„ so that on increasing v by unity

{i.e. corresponding to the production of u,, x i energy-density units)

the wave-length decreases by the amount —,.

This gives a result of the

order lo"^^ in the case in which the infra-red wave-length region A = i/x

is considered. Since Ea is the energy-density corresponding to a wavelength

difference of U7iity, the term Ea is lo^^ Uv for the region in which

the vibration frequency differs by unity.

The shortest wave-length i.e. physically possible, the shortest wavelength

capable of being emitted or absorbed by an atomic-electronic

mechanism (such as that associated with a is molecule), of the order of

magnitude of very hard X-rays, namely, io~® cm. This sets a limit,

therefore, to the width of spectrum which can be regarded as possessing

a physical meaning. It is interesting to see what this limiting width is

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