microwave spectroscopy

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A sensitive technique for chemical analysis and the determination of molecular structure (bond lengths, bond angles, and dipole moments), and also relative atomic masses. It is based on the principle that microwave radiation (see microwaves) causes changes in the rotational energy levels of molecules and absorption consequently occurs at characteristic frequencies. In a microwave spectrometer a microwave source, usually a klystron valve, produces a beam that is passed through a gaseous sample. The beam then impinges on the detector, usually a crystal detector, and the signal (wavelength against intensity) is displayed, either as a printed plot or on an oscilloscope. As microwaves are absorbed by air the instrument is evacuated.

Subjects: Chemistry.

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