Thursday, April 12, 2007

The Electrochromic Effect

We are very coy and subtle folks, sometimes, we scientists. The other day I was skimming through 'Molecules and Radiation' by Jeffrey Steinfeld while preparing some lectures and came across this sentence:

"The Hamiltonian for the interaction of an atom with a static electric field [called the Stark effect after its discoverer, Johannes Stark (1874-1957); also called the electrochromic effect by other spectroscopists who did not like Stark] is just the electric-dipole interaction:"

Other spectroscopists who did not like Stark?

Why should other spectroscopists not like Stark?

My curiosity was piqued, and it did not take long for me to discover why.

The electrochromic effect it is!


klaus rohde said...

Stark was not only a Nobel Prize winner but also a convinced Nazi. That is why other spectroscopists did not like him.

Chris Fellows said...

Yes, that is what the link was about! Stark was of course not only a Nazi, but the boss Nazi of the physics world and leader of the so-called 'Aryan Physics' movement! I am a little surprised that Steinfeld- who, if he is the same fellow my old boss at Sydney went sightseeing in Agra with, is Jewish- should bring up the matter in such a subtle and genteel way.

Anonymous said...

Electrochromic is a much better choice for not only the reasons outlined but which would you prefer to market,Electrochromic Windows or,
Stark Windows ?