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Radiation and Absorption Spectra of a Hydrogen Atom

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Radiation and Absorption Spectra of a Hydrogen Atom

Chemistry

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You will expand your knowledge of the atom in an exploration of the nature of its parts. Learn about radiation, the dual nature of light, and get an introduction to the world of quantum mechanics.

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Now You Know

After completing this tutorial, you will be able to complete the following:

  • Explain the emission spectrum of hydrogen atoms.
  • Explain the absorption spectrum of hydrogen atoms.

Everything You'll Have Covered

What occurs when hydrogen gas is heated?

~ When hydrogen gas is heated, it radiates light. Hydrogen gas also radiates light when it has high voltage applied to it.

What is the emission spectrum of a hydrogen atom?

~ The emission spectrum of a hydrogen atom is a pattern of intermittent colored lines that appears when the light radiated by a hydrogen atom passes through a prism. The beams of light that pass through the prism refract, or bend, differently according to their wavelengths. Because a hydrogen atom emits waves of light in only certain wavelengths, only those colors appear in the emission spectrum.

When white light passes through hydrogen gas, certain gaps of color appear in the resulting electromagnetic spectrum. Why do these gaps appear?

~ When white light passes through hydrogen gas, certain gaps of color appear in the resulting electromagnetic spectrum. This is called an absorption spectrum. These sections of missing light occur at certain wavelengths, because the hydrogen atoms absorb these wavelengths as the light passes through them and, therefore, they are not transmitted.

How are the spectra of hydrogen, mercury, and neon similar and how are they different?

~ The emission and absorption spectra of hydrogen, mercury, and neon are similar because all three generate bars of color. They are different, however, because the spectra that hydrogen, mercury, and neon generate all contain different bars of color.

Tutorial Details

Approximate Time 2 Minutes
Pre-requisite Concepts Students should be familiar with the following terms: absorption, emission, and spectrum.
Course Chemistry
Type of Tutorial Animation
Key Vocabulary absorption, emission, spectrum