Spectrum of the hydrogen atom

Measure a part of the hydrogen atom spectrum and distinguish it from the spectrum of deuterium.

The hydrogen atom has only one orbital electron surrounding a nucleus consisting of a single proton; this is why it serves as a good model system to study energy levels of an atom. In this experiment you will apply spectroscopic techniques to study the hydrogen atom. Specifically you will:

  1. Obtain a spectrum of the Balmer series of the hydrogen atom and determine the Rydberg constant.
  2. Observe the isotopic shifts of hydrogen and deuterium and calculate the mass ratio of deuterium and proton.
  3. Learn the basic principles of spectroscopic experimental equipment.
Hydrogen spectrum from Penn State Astronomy & Astrophysics website