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Comments on the Accuracy of Tabulated Wavelengths of Vacuum Spectral Lines for ICP-AES

Volume 46, Number 8 (Aug. 1992) Page 1301-1303

Doidge, Peter S.; Nham, Tran T.


It will be clear to careful readers of the common wavelength tables that there are many small differences in wavelengths between different tabulations. In a recent paper, Grosser and Collins indicated some lines of importance for ICP-AES analysis, the wavelengths of which appeared to be incorrectly listed in certain tables. They reported vacuum lines of neutral phosphorus and sulfur, tabulated as 178.768 nm and 182.034 nm, respectively, as belonging to this group, and an analysis of the vacuum spectrum of sulfur supports their suggested correction. It is by no means certain that the errors in tabulated values can always be attributed to insufficient resolution in the early measurements, since early workers often used Zeeman splitting patterns to make term assignments. The MIT tables, for instance, were compiled with the aid of very large (23-foot) grating monochromators of great resolving power, and it was noted by Harrison, in his preface to the tables, that centers of "complex" but resolved lines were listed, rather than the individual values. A more likely reason for inaccuracies in the earlier results is connected with the problem of finding suitable wavelength standards over the whole spectrum.