Subject area/course: Chemistry
Grade level/band: 11–12
- In this task, students observe, compare, and explain the continuous spectrum produced by incandescent lights and the line spectrum produced by fluorescent lights. They also use a simple diffraction grating slide to record the wavelengths of the hydrogen emission lines in the visible region of the electromagnetic spectrum and compare these experimentally-determined wavelengths to those that are theoretically calculated based on electron transitions between energy levels using the Bohr model. Based upon the wavelength comparisons, students evaluate the validity of the Bohr model when applying it to hydrogen atoms and discuss the limitations of the Bohr model. Students will write a 2-page paper that explains any similarities and differences between the emission spectra of incandescent light and fluorescent light, and the various colored hydrogen emission lines using electron transitions described by the Bohr model.
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