The Origin of the Satellites of Mercury Lines


INTEREST in the complex structure of the important lines in the arc spectrum of mercury has been revived by the suggestion of Nagaoka, Sugiura, and Mishima (NATURE, March 29, 1924) that the satellites are due to isotopes of mercury. The suggestion is based on the agreement of the wave-lengths calculated according to a hypothetical formula (similar to Kratzer's formula for the spectrum of hydrogen chloride) with the measured wave-lengths. On the other hand, Ruark, Mohler, and Chenault attribute the fine structure of the lines to “transitions between components of complex spectral levels” (NATURE, Oct. 18, 1924). They are satisfied that in the great majority of cases it can be proved that fine structures are not due to isotopy.

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METCALFE, E., VENKATESACHAR, B. The Origin of the Satellites of Mercury Lines. Nature 115, 15–16 (1925).

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