As part of a comprehensive survey and analysis of the spectrum and structure of the neutral vanadium atom, the photographic V i emission spectrum has been remeasured under uniform conditions by using VCl3 electrodeless discharge tubes, the Paschen-Runge spectrograph at Argonne National Laboratory, thorium lines as standards excited in thorium iodide electrodeless discharge tubes, and an automated self-convolution measuring technique to obtain center-of-gravity line positions of the hyperfine structures encountered. This was undertaken after finding systematic errors in the previously published spectral data which led to numerous internal inconsistencies in the early V i energy level structure analysis, and to ambiguities in spectral line classifications. From the observations of approximately 1600 V i lines and an analysis of the structure of the neutral vanadium atom based upon these observations, upon ultraviolet absorption measurements, and upon measurements of the extra photographic infrared spectrum, which will be presented in later articles, it is apparent that an improvement of about an order of magnitude in wave-number uncertainty has been achieved, with uncertainties in general less than 0.05 cm−1.
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