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Energy unit

  1. Feb 25, 2008 #1
    I have seen in text that it used an unfamiliar unit for fine-structure energy difference in a species. The unit was: cm^-1.
    I need these energies to do some statistical calculations in exp(-beta*E). Can anyone tell me how can I convert this unit or convert beta to this unit?

  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 25, 2008 #2


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    cm^-1 probably means that the the figures are given in units of inverse wavelengths (i.e. the wavenumber, but in this case without the [itex] 2\pi [/itex]).
    You can either convert using the relation between energy and frequency which can also be written [itex]E= hc /\lambda [/itex], or simply look at the wiki-page on wavenumbers where you can find the conversion factor

  4. Feb 25, 2008 #3


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    I believe the cm^-1 is the wave number k.
    A simple conversion from cm^-1 to keV is
    E(in eV)=[1.97X10^-5] k(in cm^-1).
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