Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Abstract Cesium atoms, enclosed in a glass vessel, are excited by a weak electrical discharge and irradiated by monochromatic light with wavelengths corresponding to the sharp, diffuse, and fundamental series. By light absorption, highly excited atoms are produced, which are ionized by electron collisions. These ions diffuse into the space charge region of a diode path, compensate partially the space charge, and increase the thermionic diode current. By this method, ionic currents of about 10 ions per sec can be detected. If the wavelength of the incident light is varied continuously, the complete absorption spectrum of excited cesium atoms can be found in the recorded diode current.
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