Hydrogen Alpha Research Paper

Decent Essays
Hydrogen Alpha & Astronomical spectroscopy
Solar telescopes are able to take detailed photos of the sun, as they only allow specific wavelengths. This wavelength is otherwise known as hydrogen alpha (656.281 nm) which marks the transition of electrons around the hydrogen atom, from the third leveled to the second leveled. Using the Bohr model of the hydrogen atom, the transition of an electron from n=3 to n-2, releases a fixed amount of energy which radiates at that specific wavelengths. This allows us the see into the chromosphere of the sun. According to the Bohr model of the atom, electrons exist in quantitative energy levels surrounding the atom's nucleus.
The set of transitions from n ≥ 3 to n = 2, is called the Balmer series. n = 3 to n = 2 is called Balmer-alpha or H-alpha, and is visible in the red part of the electromagnetic spectrum. This is the easiest way for astronomers to trace the ionized hydrogen content of gas clouds. Since it takes nearly as much energy to excite the hydrogen atoms electron from n = 1 to n = 3 as it does to ionize the hydrogen atom, the probability of the electron being excited to n = 3 without being removed from the atom is very small. Instead, after being ionized, the electron and proton recombine to form a new hydrogen atom. In the new atom, the electron may begin in any energy level,
…show more content…
There are many possible electron transitions for each atom, and each transition has a specific energy difference. This collection of different transitions, leading to different radiated wavelengths, make up an ‘emission spectrum.’ Each element's emission spectrum is unique. Therefore, spectroscopy can be used to identify the elements in matter of unknown composition. Thus, spectroscopy is an important tool in
Get Access