The Einstein-Stern model for the rotational contribution to the heat capacity of a diatomic gas has recently been resuscitated. In this communication, we show that the apparent success of the model is illusory, because it is based on what has turned out to be an unfortunate comparison with experiment. We also take exception to the possibility of assigning any meaning to the rotational zero-point energy introduced by the model. (C) 1998 American Institute of Physics. [S0021-9606(98)02448-9].
Bibliographical noteCopyright (1998) American Institute of Physics. This article may be downloaded for personal use only. Any other use requires prior permission of the author and the American Institute of Physics.