Is anyone aware of a open source atomic spectra database? In particular I am looking for high resolution Na atomic emission which can be downloaded in csv or Excel. I am aware of NIST but I could not find a atomic spectrum. Secondly do they allow re-use of their figures? Thanks.

  • $\begingroup$ Any US government publications can be distributed and copies at will. One should certainly be ethically honest and acknowledge the source, but there is no fee for use. $\endgroup$
    – MaxW
    Commented May 7, 2020 at 2:42
  • $\begingroup$ It is a tricky situation in a publication. I want to publish a spectrum. Sometimes, the copyright is held by another publisher. Many IR spectra don't belong to NIST but they have been digitized from very old commercial catalogues. $\endgroup$
    – ACR
    Commented May 7, 2020 at 3:15
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    $\begingroup$ Do I need reprint permission to use material from a NIST publication? --- "In general, publications of the National Institute of Standards and Technology, as publications of the Federal government, are in the public domain and not subject to copyright in the United States. Permission to reprint or copy from them is therefore not required. The original source should be credited. ..." // It in general, I'd think that webpages fall under unlimited use. $\endgroup$
    – MaxW
    Commented May 7, 2020 at 3:23
  • $\begingroup$ Okay, thanks. That sounds encouraging. $\endgroup$
    – ACR
    Commented May 7, 2020 at 3:31
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    $\begingroup$ Does this answer your question? Open resource for spectroscopic raw data $\endgroup$
    – Cody Aldaz
    Commented May 7, 2020 at 5:18

1 Answer 1


Based on your previous question and your comment above in lines of «NIST's policy to use published data may be fine» I question if your literature search included a visit at NIST's Handbook of Basic Atomic Spectroscopic Data.

In the case of sodium, recorded lines for either air or vacuum are listed next to the data about persistent lines, and analogue data about the single ionized form. While not yet in a .csv format, copy-paste into an editor is eased because you may toggle between the output to be table-like formatted form, or ASCII.


An alternative could be to digitize emission spectra like the following:

enter image description here

(reference, final spectrum about the hot high pressure sodium lamp)

  • $\begingroup$ Thanks Buttonwood, I was looking for an entire real "spectrum", as the output from a detector, so that one could look at the peak shapes. $\endgroup$
    – ACR
    Commented Aug 11, 2020 at 16:15
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    $\begingroup$ @M.Farooq Please have a look if an emission spectrum like the added one suits your interest better. Equally, I created a chat room for this at chat.stackexchange.com/rooms/111693/apropos-sodium $\endgroup$
    – Buttonwood
    Commented Aug 11, 2020 at 21:03

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