Hey guys, I'm reading my physics book right now and I have a quick question about transitions in multielectron atom. I am posting a picture as well so you can see what I am talking about. How come the picture doesn't show a transition from the 5p state to the 5s state? I thought that as long as the different between the orbital quantum numbers was 1, then the emission could occur. In this case, 5s has l=0 and 5p has l=1, so the difference is one and I would think the transition would occur. Also in the picture, it doesn't show the transition of 4p to 4s even though the orbital quantum difference is also one. Is the picture wrong? enter image description here


1 Answer 1


Yes, such transitions are possible. The book just list the main emission lines below 1800 nm.

For example, some missing lines in that image:
2206.248 nm, $2p^64p \rightarrow 2p^64s$
5428.36 nm, $2p^65p \rightarrow 2p^65s$
9093.03 nm, $2p^64p \rightarrow 2p^63d$

So the book probably just left these longer wavelengths out to not make the image any more cluttered.

You can search for more lines here:
Search for "Na I" otherwise you'll get lines for all the sodium ions as well.

  • $\begingroup$ Well they aren't all under 1200 nm because there is the 5p to 3d transition of 1722 nm But regardless, the book doesn't show all of the transitions. Thanks a lot $\endgroup$ Apr 22, 2011 at 1:29

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