To recognize the relationship between atomic spectra and the digital structure the atoms.

You are watching: Explain how the understanding of atomic emission spectrum led to development of the atomic theory

The ide of the photon arised from testing with thermal radiation, electromagnetic radiation emitted together the result of a source’s temperature, which produces a consistent spectrum the energies.The photoelectric effect provided indisputable evidence for the existence of the photon and also thus the particle-like habits of electromagnetic radiation. However, an ext direct evidence was necessary to verify the quantized nature of energy in all matter. In this section, we define how monitoring of the interaction of atoms through visible light detailed this evidence.

Line Spectra

Although objects at high temperature emit a constant spectrum that electromagnetic radiation, a different kind of spectrum is observed once pure samples of individual aspects are heated. Because that example, as soon as a high-voltage electrical discharge is passed v a sample of hydrogen gas at short pressure, the resulting individual secluded hydrogen atoms led to by the dissociation of H2 emit a red light. Unequal blackbody radiation, the shade of the light emitted by the hydrogen atom does no depend considerably on the temperature the the gas in the tube. When the emitted light is passed through a prism, only a few narrow present of certain wavelengths, referred to as a line spectrum, are observed quite than a constant range of wavelengths (Figure \(\PageIndex1\)). The irradiate emitted through hydrogen atoms is red because, that its four characteristic lines, the many intense line in that spectrum is in the red portion of the visible spectrum, at 656 nm. V sodium, however, we observe a yellow color since the most intense present in that is spectrum space in the yellow section of the spectrum, at about 589 nm.

Figure \(\PageIndex1\): The emission of irradiate by Hydrogen Atoms. (a) A sample the excited hydrogen atom emits a properties red light. (CC BY-SA 3.0 Unported; scientific research Made Alivevia Wikipedia)(b) as soon as the light emitted by a sample the excited hydrogen atom is break-up into its ingredient wavelengths by a prism, 4 characteristic violet, blue, green, and red emission lines have the right to be observed, the most intense of i m sorry is in ~ 656 nm. (CC BY-SA 3.0;Jan Homannvia Wikipedia)

Such emission spectra were observed for many other aspects in the so late 19th century, which gift a major difficulty because classic physics to be unable to describe them. Component of the explanation is listed by Planck’s equation: the monitoring of just a couple of values the λ (or \( u \)) in the heat spectrum meant that just a few values that E to be possible. Therefore the power levels the a hydrogen atom had actually to be quantized; in other words, only states that had particular values of power were possible, or allowed. If a hydrogen atom could have any worth of energy, climate a continuous spectrum would have actually been observed, similar to blackbody radiation.

In 1885, a Swiss mathematics teacher, Johann Balmer (1825–1898), showed that the frequencies that the lines it was observed in the visible region of the spectrum of hydrogen fit a basic equation that can be expressed together follows:

\< u=constant\; \left ( \dfrac12^2-\dfrac1n^^2 \right ) \label6.3.1\>

where n = 3, 4, 5, 6. As a result, this lines are recognized as the Balmer series. The sweden physicist john Rydberg (1854–1919) subsequently restated and also expanded Balmer’s an outcome in the Rydberg equation:

\< \dfrac1\lambda =\Re\; \left ( \dfrac1n^2_1-\dfrac1n^2_2 \right ) \label6.3.2\>

where \(n_1\) and \(n_2\) are confident integers, \(n_2 > n_1\), and also \( \Re \) the Rydberg constant, has a worth of 1.09737 × 107 m−1.

Johann Balmer (1825–1898)

A mathematics teacher at a an additional school for girls in Switzerland, Balmer was 60 year old as soon as he wrote the document on the spectral currently of hydrogen that made him famous.


Balmer published only one other record on the topic, which appeared when he to be 72 year old.

See more: Masters All They Did Not Work But Ruled From On High, Brotherhood

Like Balmer’s equation, Rydberg’s straightforward equation defined the wavelengths of the clearly shows lines in the emissions spectrum the hydrogen (with n1 = 2, n2 = 3, 4, 5,…). An ext important, Rydberg’s equation also predicted the wavelengths of other collection of currently that would certainly be observed in the emissions spectrum of hydrogen: one in the ultraviolet (n1 = 1, n2 = 2, 3, 4,…) and also one in the infrared (n1 = 3, n2 = 4, 5, 6). Unfortunately, scientists had not yet developed any kind of theoretical justification because that an equation that this form.