Absorption Band

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Absorption Band

A range of wavelengths (or frequencies) in the electromagnetic spectrum within which radiant energy is absorbed by a substance. See absorption spectrum.
When the absorbing substance is a polyatomic gas, an absorption band actually is composed of a group of discrete absorption lines which appear to overlap. Each line is associated with a particular mode of vibration or rotation induced in a gas molecule by the incident radiation.
The absorption bands of oxygen and ozone are often referred to in the literature of atmospheric physics.
The important bands for oxygen are: (a) the Hopfield bands, very strong, between about 670 and 1000 angstroms in the ultraviolet; (b) a diffuse system between 1019 and 1300 angstroms; (c) the Schumann-Runge continuum, very strong, between 1350 and 1760 angstroms; (d) the Schumann-Runge bands between 1760 and 1926 angstroms; (e) the Herzberg bands between 2400 and 2600 angstroms; (f) the atmospheric bands between 5380 and 7710 angstroms in the visible spectrum; and (g) a system in the infrared at about 1 micron.
The important bands for ozone are: (a) the Hartley bands between 2000 and 3000 angstroms in the ultraviolet, with a very intense maximum absorption at 2550 angstroms; (b) the Huggins bands, weak absorption between 3200 and 3600 angstroms; (c) the Chappius bands, a weak diffuse system between 4500 and 6500 angstroms in the visible spectrum; and (d) the infrared bands centered at 4.7, 9.6 and 14.1 microns, the latter being the most intense.


This article is based on NASA's Dictionary of Technical Terms for Aerospace Use