A limit to homogeneity of radiation is ultimately set by the so-called Doppler effect, which is the change of wave-length due to the translatory motion of the vibrating molecule from or towards the observer.
We have first the Doppler effect, which, according to Michelson's experiment, is the chief cause of the limit at very low pressures, but it is too small to account for the widening which is now under discussion.
The conclusion seemed natural that the spectra which showed the Doppler effect were due to vibratory systems which had an excess of positive charge.
Whatever ideas we may form on this point, the observations of Stark and Siegl 4 have shown that there is a Doppler effect, and therefore a positive charge, for one of the lines of the trunk series of potassium, and E.
Dorn 5 has found the Doppler effect with a number of lines of helium, which contain representatives of the trunk series as well as of the two branch series.
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