Letter | Published:

Variations in the After-Glow Brightness of Active Nitrogen Under Varied Experimental Conditions

Nature volume 154, pages 576577 (04 November 1944) | Download Citation



LORD RAYLEIGH, in a remarkable series of experiments, has studied photometrically the variations in the after-glow brightness of active nitrogen under varied experimental conditions. The results are of extreme importance in testing the various theories of active nitrogen. In the present note, some of these results will be considered in the light of the hypothesis recently proposed by me1,2, namely, that active nitrogen is simply the ionized nitrogen molecule in the N2+(X') state produced by the discharge. If the walls of the vessel are suitably 'conditioned' to prevent the surface from acting as catalyst, the recombination of the positive ions with electrons proceeds mainly in the volume of the gas by a three body collision process in which neutral nitrogen molecules act as the third body.

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  1. 1.

    , Science and Culture (Calcutta), 9, 49 (1943); 10, 133 (1944).

  2. 2.

    , Nature, 154, 212 (1944).

  3. 3.

    , , Proc. Roy. Soc., A, 151, 567 (1935).

  4. 4.

    , , Proc. Roy. Soc., A, 176, 1 (1940); see data in p. 5; see also ref. 3, p. 576.

  5. 5.

    See ref. 4, p. 10.

  6. 6.

    See ref. 3, p. 13.

  7. 7.

    , Phil. Mag., 47, 337 (1924).

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  1. Wireless Laboratory, University College of Science, 92 Upper Circular Road, Calcutta. Sept. 14.

    • S. K. MITRA


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