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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Far-infrared absorption by liquid nitrogen and liquid oxygen Wishnow, Edward Hyman


This thesis examines the collision induced, far-infrared absorption of homonuclear diatomic molecules. These molecular processes are relevant in the astrophysical environments of planetary atmospheres and galactic molecular clouds, and a brief survey of far-infrared measurements of these regions is presented. The theory of collision induced absorption by molecular rotational transitions is reviewed and a calculation is made of the quadrupolar induced, single rotational transition absorption line intensities of the nitrogen and oxygen molecules. The far-infrared absorption spectra of liquid nitrogen and liquid oxygen at 77K, over the frequency range 5 to 70 cm⁻¹ , have been measured. The far-infrared spectrum of liquid oxygen has not previously been reported. The present work includes the design of a low temperature, multiple pass, far-infrared absorption cell intended for low temperature, low density gas measurements. The effect of diffraction on the cell's maximum attainable optical path length, and a model used to estimate the anticipated liquid helium consumption are discussed.

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