Dipole Moments of Highly Vibrationally Excited Water

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Science  09 Aug 2002:
Vol. 297, Issue 5583, pp. 993-995
DOI: 10.1126/science.1073731

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The intensity of water absorption in the region of the solar spectrum plays a dominant role in atmospheric energy balance and hence strongly influences climate. Significant controversy exists over how to model this absorption accurately. We report dipole moment measurements of highly vibrationally excited water, which provide stringent tests of intensities determined by other means. Our measurements and accompanying calculations suggest that the best currently available potential and dipole surfaces do not accurately model intensities in the optical spectrum of water.

  • * Permanent address: Institute of Applied Physics, Russian Academy of Sciences, Uljanov Street 46, Nizhinii Novgorod, Russia 603950.

  • To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: thomas.rizzo{at}

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