Abstract

Photographs are shown which are the images of atoms of helium, neon and argon as obtained by x-ray diffraction, magnified about 2×108 times. The images are obtained by photographing a rotating template whose shape is calculated by a mathematical transformation of our measured values of the x-rays scattered by the respective gases. This mathematical-mechanical procedure corresponds to the lens which forms the image when a microscope is used. The images formed by our procedure should be true representations of the electron distributions in the atom, except for the limited resolving power and certain minor aberrations. The photographs show the helium atom as a diffusely continuous region filled with electricity. In neon, the inner group of K electrons is clearly distinguishable from the L electron group. The resolving power is insufficient to distinguish the K and L groups of electrons in argon, but does separate these from the M electrons. The appearance of these atoms is in good accord with modern quantum theory of atomic structure.

© 1934 Optical Society of America

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