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Thread: question about energy levels and line spectra

  1. #1 question about energy levels and line spectra 
    Forum Sophomore
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    There are different spectral lines for each element, right? These spectral lines are explained by the Bohr model of the atom, right? That is, the Bohr model says that electrons drop from one energy level to another, and these drops are accompanied by the emission of photons carrying an amount of energy equal to the difference between the two energy levels. Because there are only a few such energy levels, the electrons can only emit photons of certain energy amounts (i.e. only certain wavelengths/frequencies). These wavelengths/frequencies are what cause the spectral lines.

    Here's my question: since each element creates different spectral lines, the energy difference between each level can't be the same for all elements, can it? For example, suppose you burnt hydrogen gas, and one spectral line is created by a photon emitted from an electron that dropped from energy level n=2 to energy level n=1. Now suppose you burnt helium gas, and one spectrial line, which has to be a different one from those of hydrogen, is created by a photon emitted from an electron that dropped from the same energy levels n=2 to n=1. It's the same energy levels but a different spectral line. This means the photons emitted in each case must carry different energy amounts, and this means the difference in energy between energy levels must not be the same from one element to another. Is this true?

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  3. #2  
    Forum Freshman
    Join Date
    Oct 2007

    The bigger gap, the lower wavelength, the higher energy (in the visible electromagnetic spectrum, violet has the higher energy).

    When dealing with conjugated systems:
    The difference between the highest occupied orbital and the lowest unoccupied orbital is different (HOMO and LUMO respectively).

    (Fe)male = male alloyed with iron for greater strength, ductility, and magnetism.
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