A Guide to Spectra

The following are a few pictures of lamp spectra taken at GSU. Please note that the camera I used can't produce the color purple; all violet spectral lines came out blue (particularly with Hydrogen, Argon and Krypton).


Hydrogen (H2) spectrum. #1, Alkali Metals (1)

Found in: 75% of the universe, water, the Sun


Helium spectrum. #2, Noble Gas (18)

Found in: Helium balloons, the Sun, 25% of the universe


Nitrogen (N2) spectrum. #7, Nonmetal (15)

Found in: 79% of the Earth's Atmosphere


Neon spectrum. #10, Noble Gas (18)

Found in: Garish gas-station signs


Argon spectrum. #18, Noble Gas (18)

Found in: The Earth's atmosphere (1%), some incandescent bulbs, blue lasers


Krypton spectrum. #36, Noble Gas (18)

Found in: rare incandescent bulbs


Mercury (Vapor) spectrum. #80, Transition Metal (12)

Found in: Old and dangerous thermometers


Note that Krypton and Mercury can be differentiated due to the appearance of a red line in Krypton, and the generally equal strength of all the lines in the Krypton spectrum.

Last modified 20090623