Physics. (often lowercase) the splitting into two or more components of the spectral lines of atoms in an electric field.
Origin of Stark effect
named after J. Stark, who described it in 1913
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020
British Dictionary definitions for stark effect
/ (German ʃtark) /
the splitting of the lines of a spectrum when the source of light is subjected to a strong electrostatic field, discovered by Johannes Stark (1874–1957) in 1913
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Scientific definitions for stark effect
[ stärk ]
The splitting of single spectral lines of an emission or absorption spectrum of a substance into several components when the substance is placed in an electric field. The effect occurs when several electron orbitals in the same shell, which normally have the same energy level, have different energies due to their different orientations in the electric field. Quantum mechanical predictions of this effect are extremely accurate, a fact that provided compelling early evidence for quantum mechanics. The Stark effect is named after its discoverer, German physicist Johannes Stark (1874-1957). Compare Zeeman effect.
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