Nuclear Motions Associated with Electron Transitions in Diatomic Molecules

Phys. Rev. 32, 858 – Published 1 December 1928
Edward U. Condon


The question of nuclear motions associated with electron transitions is discussed from the standpoint of quantum mechanics. It appears that Heisenberg's indetermination principle gives the clue to the inexactness of the earlier method based on Franck's postulate since its strict application calls for a violation of the principle. The existence of an entirely new type of band spectrum due to the wave nature of matter is predicted and the interpretation of Rayleigh's mercury band at 2476-2482 A.U. as of this type is suggested. Finally it is shown that while Franck's postulate is also true for electron jumps in atoms, it is of but trivial interest because its inexactness is much greater for the electrons than for heavy nuclei.


  • Received 10 September 1928
  • Published in the issue dated December 1928

© 1928 The American Physical Society

Authors & Affiliations

Edward U. Condon

  • Palmer Physical Laboratory, Princeton University.

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