Abstract

A pulsed dye-laser optoacoustic spectroscopy technique has been used to measure the absorption spectra of light and heavy water at 21.5°C in the visible region. Basic principles of pulsed optoacoustic spectroscopy technique and the procedure for absolute calibration are discussed with reference to its application in water. Experimental details of the application of optoacoustic spectroscopy to water are given. Our absorption coefficients, of accuracies about ±10%, are believed to be the most reliable so far. Light water has a broad absorption minimum near 475 nm where the absorption coefficient is 1.8 × 10−4 cm−1. Heavy water exhibits a totally different absorption spectrum and has a broad absorption minimum near 600 nm where the absorption coefficient is 1.9 × 10−4 cm−1. Previous measurements of the optical spectra of water were done mostly by long-path transmission measurements, and they display disagreements by factors as large as 10 near the green absorption minimum of light water. We give a critical comparison of our optoacoustic absorption spectra with other existing data.

© 1979 Optical Society of America

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