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Meaning of Ritz combination principle

Ritz' combina'tion prin"ciple

Pronunciation: (rits), [key]
  1. the principle that the frequencies of lines in atomic spectra can be represented as differences of a smaller number of terms, all characteristic of the emitting system, interpreted in quantum theory as the emission of exactly one photon in a transition between energy levels. Also called
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.