The Ionization Energy of an Atom

In this applet we determine the ionization energy of an atom from a graphical analysis of the convergence of lines in its spectrum.

Plot the wavenumber data against 1 / n2. The intial value of n is unspecified (we assume that the data points refer to successive integral values of n); but the correct value can be determined by making several choices (e.g., ni = 1,2..5,6; ni = 2,3..6,7; ni = 3,4..7,8) and selecting the one that leads to a straight line (i.e., has a correlation (r) close to + or - 1.0 and minimizes the standard error).