Essay Example on Hydrogen Spectrum

The following sample essay on Essay Example on Hydrogen Spectrum. A hydrogen discharge tube is a device that can trap small amount hydrogen in a sealed tube of glass, and if potential difference is applied to that tube an emission of an atomic spectrum can be produced. The emission of the spectrum is produced from the excitation of the hydrogen electron (by the voltage) to a higher energy level and falling back to its original one. In this practical a diffraction grating is used to analyze the emitted light into spectral Balmer (visible) lines.

Using a spectrometer the wave length of each line can be determine and hence an experimental Rydbergs constant.

At the beginning of the experiment the slit of the collimator was adjusted to get a sharp focused light. The hydrogen lamp was placed in front of the slit. Then the diffraction grating was put at a right angle to the collimator. After the diffraction grating has analyzed the spectrum emitted, visible light was detected and spectral lines were produced at deferent angles.

The telescope was rotated from one side of the normal until a focused sharp spectral line is located and the angle was recorded. After that the telescope was rotated to the other side and the angle taken. This short procedure was performed for each color line detected in the series. From the wavelengths of each spectral line, Rydbergs constant can be determined empirically using Rydberg’s formula: m and n are integers that identify the energy levels of the electron.

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For more explanation is that in order to emit light the hydrogen atom electron must make a transition between two orbits (from a higher energy level to a lower). m and n represent the quantum number of these energy levels where n is the initial energy level and m is the final one. The Balmer series (only visible light is emitted) has a specific range of energy levels where m the final state electron state is equal to 2 and n has a quantum number of 3,4,5,6 each number correspond to a specific spectral line depending on their wavelength (the larger the integer the shorter the wavelength nred=3, nblue =4, nviolet=5 and nviolet=6).

Rydbergs constant was calculated by substituting each color wavelength in the formula with its energy levels number. When calculating R for the violet line, the quantum number that was taken into consideration as a substituent of n is n=6, because I thought a better result would be obtained for R and also for the reason that the wavelength of violet obtained was quite short if it would be compared to the accepted values of both the wavelengths of the violet in the Balmer series we find it that the empirical wavelength of violet is closer to the one with 410.2 nm. And this light wavelength(410. 2nm) is obtained from the transition of a hydrogen electron from orbit number 6 to 2.

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