Vibrational energy levels of the CO2 molecule (right) together with the rotational ladder of the ground state (left). We note that for the ground state the rotational ladder increases with ΔJ = 2. Lines connecting the vibrational levels denote the strongest absorption and emission pathways. The colour indicates the wavelength range of the transition: blue, 4–6 μm, green, 8–12 μm and red, 12–20 μm (spectrum in Fig. 2). More information on the rotational ladders is given in Sect. 2.2.
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