Decoding messages from atoms and molecules

The subject of "radiation exchange" is quite open-ended and provides the teacher with many options for presentation. It could be argued that a good pedagogical approach would be to present at least some of the material along the line of decoding messages from atoms and molecules. At this stage in the careers of most students taking introductory physics, they probably will not have given much thought to the fact that atoms and molecules are constantly communicating with us, so-to-speak, and that we want to try to be clever enough to decode their messages.

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