Letter | Published:

Einstein A Coefficient for the Λ Doublet Transitions of the Ground State of OH

Naturevolume 212pages184185 (1966) | Download Citation



FOR some time now there has been some uncertainty in the literature of the correct value for the Einstein A coefficients for the ground state Λ doublet transitions of OH. Barrett1 calculated A = 2.66 × 10−11 sec−1 for the 1,667 Mc/s line using a matrix element |μij|2 taken from Dousmanis, Sanders and Townes2. This element is incorrect both because the form of its dependence on the rotational quantum number J was incorrectly given as [(J + 1)(2J + 1)]−1, and also because the element was incorrectly defined as (1). The appropriate definition is given below. The correct J-dependence, which is [J(J + 1)]−1, was given by Meyer3, in connexion with the Stark-effect determination of the OH dipole moment, μ because Meyer used an electric field directed so that only transitions of type ΔMJ = 0 occurred between the magnetic sub-levels characterized by quantum number MJ, the problem of combining these elements with those for which ΔMJ = ±1 to form an overall matrix element μij was not encountered. To derive the overall matrix element between the Λ doublet levels of the ground state of OH, Goss and Weaver4 combined the correct J-factor of Meyer with standard relative intensity formulae for hyperfine transitions as given by Townes and Schawlow5 to derive A = 0.9640 × 10−11 sec−1 for the 1,667 Mc/s line. They also used the most recent values for the OH dipole moment and the fine structure interaction constant, the calculation making use of the theory for intermediate coupling between Hunds's cases (a) and (b), as given by Dousmanis, Sanders and Townes2.

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  1. 1

    Barrett, A., I.E.E.E. Trans. Military Electronics, MIL-8, 156 (1964).

  2. 2

    Dousmanis, G., Sanders, T., and Townes, C., Phys. Rev., 100, 1735 (1955).

  3. 3

    Meyer, R., thesis, Univ. Calif. (1961).

  4. 4

    Goss, W. M., and Weaver, H., paper presented at Amer. Astro. Soc. Meet., Berkeley, 1965.

  5. 5

    Townes, C., and Schawlow, A., Microwave Spectroscopy (McGraw-Hill, 1955).

  6. 6

    Wang, S., Phys. Rev., 34, 243 (1929).

  7. 7

    Condon, E., and Shortley, G., Theory of Atomic Spectra (Cambridge University Press, 1964).

  8. 8

    Goss, W. M., and Spinrad, H., Astrophys. J., 143, 989 (1966).

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  1. Radio Astronomy Laboratory, University of California, Berkeley



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