Spectroscopy: Hydrogen Energy Levels

Explore atomic spectroscopy by looking at the interactive Hydrogen Energy Level diagram and try to find which energy transitions give the visible spectral lines that you observed with the spectroscope. That's right, those are the lines of the Balmer series!

This applet uses the Bohr equation to calculate the energy levels of a hydrogen atom.

Exercise. Your goal is to construct the visible line spectrum of hydrogen by selecting the energy transitions of the Balmer series. Report the initial and final energy levels, wavelength, and color of each line you expect to observe.

Click on an initial energy level, hold the mouse button down, and drag the mouse to the final level. An arrow, an energy change expression, and a wavelength will appear. If the transition you have selected is part of the Balmer Series, click the Add Line to Spectrum button. Find the four visible lines in the Balmer series.