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Photographic Investigations in Molecular Spectroscopy


Eyster, Eugene Henderson (1938) Photographic Investigations in Molecular Spectroscopy. Dissertation (Ph.D.), California Institute of Technology. doi:10.7907/Z375-JT29.


The determination of the energy levels and the probabilities of transition between them, by the formal analysis of observed electronic, vibrational, and rotational band structures, forms the direct goal of all investigations of molecular spectra, but the significance of such data lies in the possibility of relating them theoretically to more concrete properties of molecules and the radiation field. From the well developed electronic spectra of diatomic molecules, it has been possible, with the aid of the non-relativistic quantum mechanics, to obtain accurate moments of inertia, molecular potential functions, electronic structures, and detailed information concerning the coupling of spin and orbital angular monenta with the angular momentum of nuclear rotation. The silicon fluori1e molecule has been investigated in this laboratory, and is found to emit bands whose vibrational and rotational structures can be analyzed in this detailed fashion.

Like silicon fluoride, however, the great majority of diatomic molecules are formed only under the unusual conditions of electrical discharge, or in high temperature furnaces, so that although their spectra are of great theoretical interest, the chemist is eager to proceed to a study of polyatomic molecules, in the hope that their more practically interesting structures might also be determined with the accuracy and assurance which characterize the spectroscopic determinations of the constants of diatomic molecules. Some progress has been made in the determination of molecule potential functions from the vibrational term values deduced from Raman and infrared spectra, but in no case can the calculations be carried out with great generality, since the number of known term values is always small compared with the total number of potential constants in even so restricted a potential function as the simple quadratic type. For the determination of nuclear configurations and bond distances, however, a knowledge of the rotational terms is required. The spectra of about twelve of the simpler polyatomic molecules have been subjected to rotational analyses, and a number of bond distances are known with considerable accuracy, yet the number of molecules whose rotational fine structure has been resolved even with the most powerful instruments is small. Consequently, it was felt desirable to investigate the spectra of a number of other promising polyatomic molecules, with the purpose of carrying out complete rotational analyses of all resolvable bands, and ascertaining the value of the unresolved band envelopes in determining the structures of such molecules, in the cases in which resolution is no longer possible. Although many of the compounds investigated absorbed too feebly to be photographed under high dispersion with the present infrared sensitizations, the location and relative intensities of their bands, determined by low dispersion measurements, will be reported in the hope that these compounds may be reinvestigated in the future with improved techniques.

Item Type:Thesis (Dissertation (Ph.D.))
Subject Keywords:Chemistry
Degree Grantor:California Institute of Technology
Division:Chemistry and Chemical Engineering
Major Option:Chemistry
Thesis Availability:Public (worldwide access)
Research Advisor(s):
  • Badger, Richard McLean
Thesis Committee:
  • Unknown, Unknown
Defense Date:1 January 1938
Record Number:CaltechTHESIS:03262013-141554986
Persistent URL:
Default Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:7556
Deposited On:27 Mar 2013 21:05
Last Modified:03 Oct 2019 23:59

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