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The Chemical Educator

ISSN: 1430-4171 (electronic version)

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Abstract Volume x Issue x (2006) pp 287-288

On High Vacuum and Low Temperatures: Their Critical Roles in Experimental Atomics

Simon H. Bauer

Department of Chemistry, UC Davis, Davis, CA, 95616,
Received January 1, 2006. Accepted May 22, 2006.

Published online: 12 June 2006

Abstract. The transition to quantum physics during the early years of the 20th century was preceded during the last two decades of the 19th century by a subtle revolution in the types of experiments undertaken in many physical laboratories. Starting around 1880, experiments were initiated to determine the magnitudes of atomic/molecular parameters by direct manipulation of particles generated by fragmentation of numerous gaseous compounds. This could be successfully undertaken when sufficiently low pressures of ambient gases were attained. In turn that depended on the development of efficient vacuum pumps and cryogenic liquids.

Key Words: Chemistry and History; physical chemistry; gas

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Issue date: August 1, 2006

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