Abstract

After a brief summary of the ideas underlying the quantum theory of dispersion it is shown that it can be applied to the refraction of x-rays, although the assumption that the number of atoms in a wave length cube is large is no longer satisfied. A general formula for the index of refraction in terms of the atomic absorption coefficient α and the critical frequencies is given. From the condition, experimentally verified, that the electrons in the atom for impressed frequencies, large compared to their natural frequencies, shall act like free electrons as far as the index of refraction is concerned, a relation is obtained for α. From the failure of this relation when applied to the groups of electrons separately, conclusions are drawn as to the coupling of the groups. Some considerations on the origin of the Compton shifted radiation are added, from which it appears that in the wave description this radiation must be regarded as coming from all the atoms and as being coherent with the incident waves; a result suited to stress the difficulty of harmonizing the wave picture with that of quantum processes in the atoms.1

© 1926 Optical Society of America

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Equations (18)

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