Kerr dispersion of atomic sodium and lithium

M. P. Bogaard, A. D. Buckingham, B. J. Orr

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13 Citations (Scopus)


A detailed theory of the frequency dependence of the electro-optical Kerr effect of an atom in the region of absorption lines is presented and applied to the particular case of 2P←2S doublets of sodium and lithium vapours. Doppler broadening is taken into account. With electric dipole matrix elements derived from the Coulomb approximation for both discrete and continuum states, the molar Kerr constant, mK(32 P←32S), of atomic sodium vapour in the D-line absorption region is calculated to ±30 per cent; the calculations indicate that m K in the vicinity of the D2 line (32P3/2←32S1/2) should be very much greater than near the D1 line (32P1/2←32S1/2) in qualitative agreement with the experiments of Kopfermann and Ladenburg Qualitative consideration is also given to dispersion of magnetic birefringence; in contrast with electric birefringence strong dispersion is expected near both lines of alkali metal 2P←2S doublets.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)533-545
Number of pages13
JournalMolecular Physics
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1967
Externally publishedYes


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