why does the rydberg equation only work for hydrogen

Light
travel through space as a wave of radiation energy. The crest-to-crest distance between waves is the wavelength, and the number of cycles completed in a second is the frequency. In 1900 Max Planck introduced the quantum concept. When an object radiates light, it releases a unit of radiation energy called a photon. In 1913 Niels Bohr suggested that electrons travel in curricular orbits about the nucleus. The electron possesses a specific energy and it is said to occupy an energy level. If an electron changes orbital in the Bohr model, there is a quantum energy change.


The line emission line spectrum results from electrons dropping from higher energy level to lower energy levels. Each time an electron drops, a proton of light is released whose energy correspond to the difference in energy between the two levels. In the 1920's our understanding of electrons in atoms became very sophisticated. It was proposed that the energy of electrons can be known only in terms of its probability of being located some where within the atom.


The description gave rise to the Quantum mechanical atom. A location within the atom where there is a high probability of finding an electron having certain energy is called an orbital. Why does the Rydberg equation work for hydrogen but not for helium? Do you observe any transitions in hydrogen that do not match the wavelengths predicted by the Rydberg equation? If so, what could be their origin? Which spectrum (hydrogen or helium) is more complicated?


Why do you think that is? Can you use the values from the Ocean Optics spectrometer to assign precise wavelengths to the transitions that you observed with the STAR spectrometer? Can scientist determine specific elements based off of a spectrum? Why or why not? Find the spectra of the different ions you observed in Part C and explain why one ion was seen why the other ion was not visible during the flame test. Is the flame color a characteristic property from your observations?

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