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Homework Help: Identifying an element from Emission Spectrum

  1. Jul 31, 2006 #1
    Using data collected from a spectrometer, with a diffraction grating of 100 lines/mm, I have collected a set of data. From this I have calculated wavelengths for the 1st and 2nd order lines of the three brightest visible colors, which were Blue/Violet, Green, and Orange.

    To complete my lab Im required to identify the element that produced the emission spectrum, however Im really unclear how to go about this.

    So, Im left with wavelengths for 1st and 2nd order lines of each color, Ive tried to compare this to lists of wavelengths for various emission spectrums Ive found, but I see no way to take these wavelengths and positively identify my element. Most lists of wavelengths I find fall within the same range. What is the clear cut method that Im missing to correlate my wavelengths to another set given so as to identify my element?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 31, 2006 #2
    is the spectrometer's resolution too poor or something? in general one should be able to identify elements pretty easily.
  4. Jul 31, 2006 #3

    I cant really find any wavelengths to compare my calculated wavelengths to, just pictures of spectra, you cant make a positive id on that.


    I have a blue/violet 1st order to the right of center, wave length=348.99, and to the left of center=523.359.
    Looking at this list:http://physics.nist.gov/PhysRefData/Handbook/Tables/nitrogentable2.htm for nitrogen, how can I even relate my 1st and second order measurements to the nitrogen table?
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2006
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