Abstract

Measurements of the absorption in compressed nitrogen gas in the spectral region 20–200 cm−1 have been made at temperatures of 200, 293, 320, and 353 K. Values of the electric quadrupole moment QN2 of the nitrogen molecules are determined from the results using two different analytical methods, at each of these temperatures, yielding an average value of (1.3 ± 0.2) × 10−26 esu cm2. The data are then applied in a study of the far-infrared transmission of the upper atmosphere at a mean temperature of 220 K, where it is shown that up to 8% absorption can occur in a vertical path above 12 km, while over a near-horizontal path from this level the absorption can be 40% or greater. Such results are of importance to atmospheric and astronomical measurements in the 100 cm−1 region.

© 1979 Optical Society of America

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