Letter | Published:

Kramers' Law: A Correction

Nature volume 142, page 615 (01 October 1938) | Download Citation



IN a recent letter1 it was shown that the number of arrivals, pn, in the nth quantum state of the hydrogen atom in a discharge tube and in the planetary nebulæ was not the same as the number of captures predicted by Kramers' Law. The arrivals, pn, were computed from measured line intensities for n?3, and the number of captures on n = 2 was obtained directly from the Balmer continuous emission, Bac. If, as convincing arguments2appeared to show, these observed arrivals, pn, were almost wholly due to captures of free electrons, it followed that Kramers' Law was wrong. This view was strengthened in the case of the discharge tube by a measurement of the Paschen continuous emission, Pac, which gave directly the number of captures on n = 3, and which was thought to be of the same magnitude as p3.

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  1. 1.

    NATURE, 141, 1137 (June 25, 1938).

  2. 2.

    , Astrophys. J., 65, 50 (1927); , Pub. Dom. Astro. Obs., 4, 187 (1928).

  3. 3.

    Note added in proof: In a letter in NATURE, 142, 433 (September 3, 1938), Menzel has directed attention to the significance of this test, and has made the forecast, now verified, that it would canfirm the validity of Kramers' Law.

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  1. University Observatory, Oxford. Aug. 31.

    • T. L. PAGE


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