Letter | Published:

Isotopes of Mercury and Bismuth and the Satellites of their Spectral Lines

Nature volume 113, page 781 (31 May 1924) | Download Citation



IN their letter (NATURE, March 29) Messrs. Nagaoka, Sugiura, and Mishima give the wave-lengths of a large number of satellites of Hg 2536 and Bi 4722 measured with wonderful accuracy. I think, however, they have not succeeded in proving that the satellites are connected with the isotopes of mercury and bismuth in the way they indicate. The coincidences of the calculated values of with the differences of the observed wave-lengths may very well be due to chance. Twenty-three lines, as in the case of mercury, have 253 differences distributed over a space of about 300 units (the unit being 0.001 Ångström). The distribution is somewhat denser for the smaller differences. Hence seven numbers considerably smaller than 300 chosen at random should in any case coincide with seven of the observed differences with an accuracy of about half a unit (the smaller numbers with greater, the greater numbers with less accuracy). It is the same in the case of bismuth, only that here the spacing of the differences is not so close. The allowance for the accuracy of the coincidences has to be somewhat larger.

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  1. The University, Göttingen.

    • C. RUNGE


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