Physics

Do the electrons in an ion of nitrogen (such as N+ or N+2) have exactly the same permitted energy levels the electrons in a neutral nitrogen atom, and therefore, same absorption and emission lines?

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  1. This was first noticed in airborne atomic tests, it was observed at the Chernobyl reactor failure by one resident physicist (who survived by running away), and it has been observed in lattice studies with laser excitation. It is not unique to Nitrogen, the effect of excited yttrium is of special interest.
    Now back to nitrogen: Neutral nitrogen radiates primarily at one line in red part of the spectrum. Ionized nitrogen radiates primarily as a set of lines in blue part of the spectrum.[ All about lightning by Martin A. Uman, p. 96, Courier Dover Publications, 1986 ISBN 0-486-25237-X] The strongest signals are the 443.3, 444.7, and 463.0 nm lines of singly ionized nitrogen.

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  2. Thank you very much for your help with this question Bob!

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