Letter | Published:

Excitation of the Na D-doublet of the nightglow

Nature volume 286, pages 790791 (21 August 1980) | Download Citation

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Abstract

We infer from the absolute intensity of the nocturnal D-doublet emission, the abundance of free Na and other relevant information that there is very little possibility of an alternative to Chapman's theory1 that the excited Na atoms involved are released by NaO–O collisions. The nature of the collision process is discussed here. We point out that a remarkably high branching ratio for the reaction path leading to excited (rather than normal) sodium is necessary. A high branching ratio is explained by considering the symmetry properties of the correlated electronic states.

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Author information

Affiliations

  1. Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics, Queen's University Belfast, Belfast BT7 1NN, UK

    • D. R. Bates
    •  & P. C. Ojha

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DOI

https://doi.org/10.1038/286790a0

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