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Robert L. Cook

Professor Emeritus, Physics and Astronomy

E-mail address: Cook@Dial.Msstate.Edu


Robert L. Cook was a Professor of Physics and Chemistry and Deputy Director of the MHD Energy Center at Mississippi State University, a member of the American Physical Society, the American Chemical Society, the American Association of Physics Teachers, the Mississippi Academy of Sciences, the Mississippi Association of Physicists, the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, and the Society of Sigma Xi. He received his Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry from the University of Notre Dame in 1963. Before coming to MSU in 1971 he was a Postdoctoral Research Associate with Professor Walter Gordy at the Microwave Laboratory at Duke University. He was later an Instructor and Assistant Professor of Physics at Duke University. Dr. Cook is coauthor of a book, Microwave Molecular Spectra, the third edition of which was published in 1984. In 1982, he received the Faculty Achievement Award in Research and was a member of the AIAA Plasmadynamics and Lasers Technical Committee (1983-86). In 1985, he received the College of Arts and Sciences Paideia Award. Dr. Cook retired from Mississippi State University in January 2004.


Microwave Molecular Spectra

Cook, Robert L.
Publisher: John Wiley-Interscience
Third Edition,1984
ISBN: 0471086819
Collaborators: Walter Gordy

Many exciting new developments in microwave spectroscopy have occurred since the earlier edition of this book was published in 1970. The frequency coverage of coherent microwave spectroscopy is still expanding. Although not comparable to the fourfold expansion that occurred in the 17 years preceding the 1970 edition, the millimeter wave range has been extended from 800 GHz to above 1000 GHz since 1970. Subtle new techniques continue to improve the sensitivity and resolving power of microwave spectrometers as well as their applicability to new types of spectra.

Detection of the microwave spectra of nonpolar, spherical-top molecules such as CH4 and of "forbidden" K transitions in symmetric-top molecules such as PH3 has been achieved. Microwave "molecular ion" spectroscopy has become a practical reality since 1970. The observation of rotational spectra of weak, hydrogen-bonded complexes and rare gas atom-molecule complexes (van der Waals molecules) has become widespread. New techniques for observation of molecules in highly excited vibrational states have been devised. Significant advances in the theory of complex microwave molecular spectra have been made. In the last 15 years microwave spectroscopy has advanced from observation of molecules in laboratory cells to observation of molecules in interstellar space. An important new field, microwave molecular astronomy, has been created. Microwave sources and techniques have been combined with infrared and optical lasers to form the new and rapidly advancing field of microwave-optical double resonance spectroscopy.

Although the spectra described in the earlier edition are in no sense out of date, the new developments made the revision of Microwave Molecular Spectra desirable if not necessary. The basic theory and measurements of microwave spectroscopy have a remarkable durability which results from the high resolution and accuracy of measurement that characterize all coherent radiation spectroscopy of sharp line spectra. Because we could not justifiably delete nor significantly reduce the basic material of the earlier edition, a moderate expansion of the volume was necessary to achieve an adequate coverage of microwave molecular spectra in the 1980s.