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Lucila Sibrian

November 18, 2014


Physics 300L
Lap Report
Light Spectra
Abstract: To study the spectra of light from various substances. We will figure out the main
emission lines for the fluorescent lights in a room, hydrogen, neon discharge tubes and
incandescent bulb.
Introduction: Electromagnetic waves are emitted when electrons in an atom jump from higher
energy level to lower levels. Depending on the amount of energy we get involve with: x-rays,
ultraviolet, visible lights, infrareds and microwaves. But in this experiment we will be concerned
with visible lights. When light is emitted when an electron makes a transition from a higher
energy level to lower one, energy is absorbed from outside when the electro jumps form a lower
level to higher one.
Experimental Setup: For this experiment we used as followed:

Spectrum tubes
o Helium
o Hydrogen
o Neon
o Mercury
Spectrum tube power supply
Diffraction grating
Incandescent light source
o Straight filament bulb with dimmer.

Data: Stapled on the back.


Discussion: To start this lab we were told to determine the main emission lines for the
fluorescent lights in a room, hydrogen, neon discharge tubes and incandescent bulb. We had to
figure out if there are more than five lines present, so we had to record the five brightest lines
that we saw. Some of the lights that we get to see are as followed: violet, blue, red, green, yellow,
and orange. We also have to determine the state qualitatively how the hydrogen spectrum is
different from neon. We had to repeat the same steps for each of the different elements.
Questions:
1. Two stars, a and b, are red and blue, respectively. Which star is hotter? Estimate the
surface temperature of star b if..

2. Helium was discovered in the atmosphere of the sun before it was detected on earth. How
do you suppose that this discovery was made by astronomers?
3. Our eyes have the greatest retinal sensitivity in yellow. Is the mercury vapor lamp a good
choice for street lighting? The mercury vapor lamps are more energy efficient than
incandescent and most fluorescent lights with luminous efficacies.
4. The universe is glowing in invisible microwaves which are the remnant fireball of the

initial big bang. Estimate the overall of the universe assuming the microwaves are peaked
at.