The complete optical spectrum of liquid water measured by inelastic x-ray scattering

Hisashi Hayashi, Noboru Watanabe, Yasuo Udagawa, C. C. Kao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

161 Citations (Scopus)


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 photoabsorption, 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 [Inokuti, M. (1986) Photochem. Photobiol. 44, 279-285]. 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 the wiggler line X21 of the National Synchrotron Light Source.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6264-6266
Number of pages3
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2000 Jun 6


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