What is it about?

Interaction of light with matter is of paramount importance in nature. The most fundamental property of a material in relation to light is its oscillator strength distribution, i.e., how strongly it absorbs light as a function of wavelength. Once the oscillator strength distribution is determined precisely for a wide enough energy range, the optical constants such as absorbance and reflectance as well as a number of other properties of the material, some of which are seemingly unrelated to photo-absorption, can be deduced. Most important of all is the fact that the interaction of matter with fast charged particles can be described by its complete optical spectra. Despite their importance, however, the complete optical spectra of volatile liquids including water have never been obtained accurately because of experimental difficulties inherent in vacuum UV spectroscopy. Inelastic x-ray scattering spectroscopy can provide quantitative data equivalent to those from vacuum UV absorption spectra. Herein, we show the complete optical spectrum of liquid water determined by making use of intense monochromatic x-rays supplied by synchrotron radiation.

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Why is it important?

The standard source of optical data of liquid water.

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This page is a summary of: The complete optical spectrum of liquid water measured by inelastic x-ray scattering, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, May 2000, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences,
DOI: 10.1073/pnas.110572097.
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