Hydrogen atom does not emit X-rays because (A) it contains only a single electro


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Hydrogen atom does not emit X-rays because

(A) it contains only a single electron

(B) energy levels in it are far apart

(C) its size is very small

(D) energy levels in it are very close to each other

Jan 20th, 2015

(D) The energy levels are close together ...

In order for an atom to emit X-rays, an electron must jump from a high to low energy level. The difference in that energy needs to be large enough to produce an X-ray photon, which means a jump of about 100 electon-volts or more. In a hydrogen atom, the largest energy drop (from the 1st excited state to the ground state) is about 10.2 eV, so the most energetic photon it could produce would be in the UV region of the spectrum (at 121 nm or so).

Jan 20th, 2015

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