What is the emission spectrum of the hydrogen atom?


Quick Answer

The hydrogen emission spectrum is a series of colors emitted when a hydrogen atom is excited by a high voltage. These colors are created by hydrogen's electron gaining or losing energy and moving to different energy levels. The energy that an electron gains or loses appears as light.

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Full Answer

Placing hydrogen in a hydrogen discharge tube and running a current through it creates a pink light. When the light is passed through a prism, various colors may be seen. The visible colors in the spectrum are only a small number of the colors created. The majority of the colors are in the infrared and ultraviolet ranges.

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