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Atomic Emission Spectra

  1. Nov 5, 2005 #1
    Why does neon have more spectral lines than helium? Is the atomic spectrum based on an element's electron configuration?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 5, 2005 #2

    ZapperZ

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    It doesn't. It may have more spectral lines in the VISIBLE range, but not more or less than He.

    Zz.
     
  4. Nov 5, 2005 #3
    But why are more lines present in the visible range?
     
  5. Nov 5, 2005 #4

    ZapperZ

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    Because the energy levels are different. The 0th order approximation would be that the heavier atoms have more "dense" energy state than the lighter ones. So the energy difference between a particle principle level is smaller.

    Zz.
     
  6. Nov 5, 2005 #5
    What exactly is a particle principle level?

    I'm sorry. Some of these terms, such as the zeroth order approx., are new to me.
     
  7. Nov 5, 2005 #6

    ZapperZ

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    I mistyped. I meant to say

    "So the energy difference between a particle's principle energy level is smaller."

    What you need to do is look at the expression for the Rydberg energy level as an elementary example. Then use various nuclear charge Z from 1 to how ever large you want it. Then see the energy difference between, let's say n=4 and n=3 changing as Z gets larger. This energy difference is what is emitted when the atom decays.

    Zz.
     
  8. Nov 7, 2005 #7
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