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Homework Help: Sodium D lines and transitions

  1. Mar 31, 2008 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

    a) The strong yellow line (sometimes called the sodium D lines) is actually a doublet which can be resolved with the prism spectrometer, Can you explain the origin of the splitting?

    http://img266.imageshack.us/img266/4761/fig1cr4.png [Broken]
    Why are there no transitions shown in figure 1 from D->S or S->D?

    3. The attempt at a solution

    For a) is it because the energy difference between the two spin orientations is responsible for the fine structure doubling of many atomic spectral lines (in this case, sodium being one of them)? The spin-orbit doubling of the sodium 3s level is the origin of the splitting?

    I'm not sure about b), can someone please explain?

    Last edited by a moderator: May 3, 2017
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 31, 2008 #2
    a) is correct.

    b) is because of selection rules --- conservation of angular momentum and parity.
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