Spectra of Gas Discharges

Joachim Köppen Strasbourg/Illkirch/Kiel 2007

after the pages by John Talbot and using an enlarged version of his applet


Below are images of the spectra of the lines of each element which would be observed as emission lines in an electrical gas discharge. The images are screen shots of an applet - originally written by John Talbot - which reads in a file with wavelengths and intensities and makes a colourful representation of the spectrum. All data are taken from the NIST Atomic Spectra Databaseby the National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD., U.S.A. The line intensities are as given in these tables, to give an impression of the relative line strength. However, it must be emphasized that the spectra shown may not correspond to the discharges we see in the form of various street lamps, because the excitation conditions (electric voltage, temperature, density) may well be different ...


The Applet with user control of all parameters is here.


This is how the eyes of my students seem to perceive the colours of the solar continuum

and this is how they perceive the solar spectrum with its absorption lines

but this is how it looks to my own eyes


Click on any of the following spectra to show it in greater detail:

Hydrogen

Helium

Carbon

Nitrogen

Oxygen

Neon

Sodium

Magnesium

Aluminum

Silicon

Sulfur

Argon

Potassium

Calcium

Iron

Krypton

Strontium

Xenon

Barium

Mercury


The Applet with user control of all parameters is here.


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