Letter | Published:

Search for Light Amplification in a Mixture of Mercury Vapour and Hydrogen

Naturevolume 193page767 (1962) | Download Citation



F. A. Butayeva and V. A. Fabrikant have recently reported the discovery of a negative temperature in an excited gaseous mixture of mercury vapour and hydrogen between the levels 73S1 and 63P0,1,2 of mercury1. They maintain that the populations of the 63P levels were reduced below that of the 73S1 level by the well-known quenching action of hydrogen. The populations were investigated by measuring the transmission coefficient of the gas mixture at the wave-lengths 5461 Å., 4358 Å. and 4047 Å., corresponding to the transitions 73S1 – 63P2, 73S1 – 63P1 and 73S1 – 63P0, the mixture being excited by a d.c. discharge. With a discharge tube of length 36 cm. amplification of about 10 per cent was reported in the λ 5461 Å. and λ 4358 Å. lines for a discharge current of 70 m.amp. with 0.3 mm. mercury hydrogen pressure and saturated mercury vapour at room temperature.

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  1. 1

    Butayeva, F. A., and Fabrikant, V. A., Research in Experimental and Theoretical Physics, Memorial Vol. in Honour of G. S. Landsberg (U.S.S.R. Academy of Science Press, Moscow, 1959).

  2. 2

    Pringsheim, P., Fluorescence and Phosphorescence, 111 (Interscience Publishers, New York, 1949).

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  1. Clarendon Laboratory, Oxford

    • J. H. SANDERS
    • , M. J. TAYLOR
    •  & C. E. WEBB


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