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Introductory Chemistry: A Foundati...

9th Edition
Steven S. Zumdahl + 1 other
ISBN: 9781337399425

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BuyFindarrow_forward

Introductory Chemistry: A Foundati...

9th Edition
Steven S. Zumdahl + 1 other
ISBN: 9781337399425
Textbook Problem
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When a tube containing hydrogen atoms is energized by passing several thousand volts of electricity into the tube, the hydrogen emits light than when passed through a prism, resolves into the "bright line" spectrum shown in Fig. 11.10. Why do hydrogen atoms emit bright lines of specific wavelengths rather than a continuous spectrum?

Interpretation Introduction

Interpretation:

Find out why hydrogen atoms emit bright lines of specific wavelengths rather than a continuous spectrum.

Concept Introduction:

Unlike objects at high temperature that emits electromagnetic radiation of a continuous spectrum, pure samples such as atoms, emits a line spectrum of specific wavelengths. When hydrogen atoms are exposed to a high voltage of electricity, this electrical energy excites the electron in the first shell (lowest energy level state), closest to the nucleus. The excited electron then jumps from the first shell to a higher shell with a higher energy level. Ultimately the electron losses this energy and falls down to a lower energy level releasing the energy as light. This emitted light can then be passed through a prism, which splits the light to its component wavelengths which leads to four characteristic coloured lines of the visible spectrum.

Explanation

Unlike objects at high temperature that emits electromagnetic radiation of a continuous spectrum, pure samples such as atoms, emits a line spectrum of specific wavelengths. When hydrogen atoms are exposed to a high voltage of electricity, this electrical energy excites the electron in the first shell (lowest energy level state), closest to the nucleus. The excited electron then jumps from the first shell to a higher shell with a higher energy level. Ultimately the electron losses this energy and falls down to a lower energy level releasing the energy as light as shown in figure 1.

Figure 1. Shows different pathways the excited electron of a hydrogen atom falls back from a higher energy level to the lowest energy level. Red dot represents an excited electron in the 2nd shell falling back to the 1st shell...

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