Topic 2 and Topic 12 – Atomic Structure – Lab Ideas

Atomic structure is quite a difficult part of the course to carry out lab work, let alone assess IA. However, you may decide to use some time looking at the emission spectra of various elements.

However, to do this you do not need to get hold of some emission tubes. Your physics department may be able to help – but be careful, in my old school we used to have a good number of emission tubes but it also involved live wires and 1000 volts!

If you can get hold of some emission tubes, you can look at the gases through a hand held spectroscope and observe the emission spectra. Students can sketch what they see and compare them to the ‘actual spectra’. It would be hard to formally assess this but it is a worthwhile lab.

This particular website is excellent for looking at the emission spectra.

Some further ideas for lab work (including some questions and examples of spectra) can be found by clicking here.

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