Bederson, Benjamin Department of Physics, New York University, New York, New York.
- Additional Reading
The study of the physical properties of molecules. Molecules possess a far richer variety of physical and chemical properties than do isolated atoms. This is attributable primarily to the greater complexity of molecular structure, as compared to that of the constituent atoms. Molecules also possess additional energy modes because they can vibrate; that is, the constituent nuclei oscillate about their equilibrium positions and rotate when unhindered. These modes give rise to additional spectroscopic properties, as compared to those of an atom; molecular spectroscopy in the optical, infrared, and microwave regions is one of the physical chemist's most powerful means of identifying and understanding molecular structure. Molecular spectroscopy has also given rise to the rapidly growing field of molecular astronomy.
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