Vernier Software and Technology
Vernier Software & Technology
Innovative Uses

Mercury Fingerprint

Spectrum from a 'green' fluorescent lamp
Spectrum from a “green” fluorescent lamp

Did you know that even if a fluorescent lamp is labeled “green” it may still contain some mercury? We used a Vernier Spectrometer to study the emission spectrum of a modern fluorescent tube. It had a very strong peak at 546 nm, one of the characteristic emission wavelengths of mercury. Dispose of your old lamps properly, even if they are marked as “green.”

You can also use a cool new Logger Pro feature to compare spectra. There is a mercury spectrum in the Sample Data folder. If you collect an unknown spectrum and want to compare it to a known mercury spectrum, just superimpose the reference mercury data from the Sample Data folder using the new Import from Logger Pro file feature. Do the peaks line up?

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