Atomic Physics and Related Subjects.: Communications to Nature.: Energy Losses of Electrons in Mercury Vapour

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A STUDY has recently been made by me of the effects of collisions with mercury atoms of electrons of energies of 8 volts, 18.4 volts, 34.6 volts, and 49 volts. The collisions of the electrons and mercury atoms took place in a field-free space from which those scattered at a definite angle passed into an analysing chamber from which the mercury vapour had been removed. Here a velocity analysis was made by an electrostatic method instead of by the usual magnetic field. The paths of the electrons were bent by an electric field between two curved molybdenum plates. While the experiment was in progress, a paper appeared by G. P. Harnwell (Phys. Rev., vol. 33, p. 559) in which the same method of analysis was used. Apparently, however, it failed to give results with electrons of energies less than about 40 volts and the resolution was somewhat low. Just recently, results of a similar experiment on energy losses in mercury have been published by Whitney (Phys. Rev., vol. 34, p. 923), in which a magnetic analysis was used giving about the same resolving power as the method used by me.

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