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 Diffraction grating is calibrated with Sodium D-lines.

 To study the Atomic Emission Spectra of H, He, Na and Hg.
 Compare Emission spectrum for H with Bohr Model of Atom.


The light source is a spectral lamp with interchangeable

bulbs, each bulb containing one specific gas, as labelled
(including hydrogen (H), helium (He), neon (Ne), mercury
(Hg), nitrogen gas (N2), and others). An applied high voltage
creates enough free electrons and ions in the gas to
establish a current; the moving charged particles
occasionally excite the neutral atom’s electrons to different
levels. The light of the spectral bulb is shielded by a large
pane except for a small aperture, and the adjustable
Collimator slit (see Figure 1) narrows down the light flux.

Diffraction Grating: -

As light passes through a diffraction grating, the light bends to for a diffraction pattern. The angles to the maxima in
the pattern are given by,

𝑑 sin(𝜃) = 𝑚𝜆 { 𝑚 = 0, 1, 2, …
PART I – Calibrating grating with Na D-line-

Experiment –
Collimator slit No.: 2
Detector slit No.: 2
D-line – 589.3 nm

Grating – 600 lines/mm

1st Maxima at −21.08𝑜 and 20.9𝑜 :

∴ 𝑑 = 𝜆/sin(𝜃)

⇒ 𝑑 = 5.893 × 10−7 𝑚/ sin(0.3667)

⇒ 𝒅 = 𝟏. 𝟔𝟒𝟒 × 𝟏𝟎−𝟔 𝒎
i.e. 608 𝑙𝑖𝑛𝑒𝑠/𝑚𝑚
www.nist.gov – Sodium spectroscopy

PART II – Observing Spectra:

Hydrogen Spectrum:

As we observed, hydrogen emits only four wavelengths in the visible region of the spectrum. As expected, the
wavelengths decrease from red to violet, meaning that there is more energy released the smaller the wavelength gets.

By studying the hydrogen model, we can see that the electron’s jumps from one orbit to another produce the light
visible on the spectrum. However, when the electron in a hydrogen atom jumps from orbit 2 to orbit 1, the light
emitted has a wavelength of 1216 Angstroms, which is in the ultraviolet portion of the spectrum and therefore is not
visible. We can use the equation stated earlier to find the energy difference between the orbits that the electrons
jumped using each wavelength measured in the earlier part of the lab.

From the Bohr Atom,

1 1 1
= 𝑅( 2 − 2) { 𝑅 = 1.09677 × 107 𝑚−1
𝜆𝑙𝑖𝑛𝑒 𝑛𝑓 𝑛𝑖
- 𝑛𝑓 = 1 is Lyman Series
- 𝑛𝑓 = 2 is Balmer Series which is visible
- 𝑛𝑓 = 3, 4, 5, … are Paschen, Brackett, Pfund series resp.

The relation between the energy and the wavelength of the emitted light is:
𝑊𝑎𝑣𝑒𝑙𝑒𝑛𝑔ℎ𝑡, 𝜆 (Å) = 12,400/ 𝐸𝑛𝑒𝑟𝑔𝑦 (𝑒𝑉)

Collimator Slit No.: 3
Detector Slit No.: 2
Transitions calculated from:
www.nist.gov – H spectroscopy data

Helium Spectrum:

Unlike what we expected, we observed that the spacing and location of the spectral lines was similar to hydrogen. The
difference from each distinguishable spectral line is actually exactly the same as the difference between hydrogen’s
spectral lines. However, helium’s spectrum began and ended at a higher wavelength than that of Hydrogen’s. Because
violet’s wavelength is larger than Hydrogen’s wavelength, hydrogen has the potential to emit greater energy than

Mercury Spectrum:

The mixed colour spectrum of the glowing gas tube light was very blue. The data explains that this is because the
mercury spectrum lacks red spectral lines.

- In a high-quality grating, d is very small so that the angles are large, which is another reason why m = 2 might
not be observed.
- Even for the simplest atom with more than one electron, namely, the helium atom, the Bohr model does no
longer seem to hold, but some ideas about the transition spectra are still valid.

http://www.nist.gov/pml/data/handbook/index.cfm - The data are taken from the NIST database, “Basic Atomic
Spectroscopic Data”,

National Institute of Standards and Technology, Atomic Spectra Database, http://www.nist.gov.