PhysicsLAB Amusing Problems
What's My Line

 
 
Fame and fortune await Dr. J and his crew as they prepare to travel to New York. Dr. J has been selected as a panelist on the game show, "What's My Line?" This is to be a special science edition of the show. A descendant of Max Planck has been asked to be the guest host as a constant reminder of the uncertainty in TV programming. Besides Dr. J, the guest panel is made up of people similarly close to famous scientists. A relative of Einstein has not yet confirmed his spot, stating that his time schedule is not absolute. Heisenberg's grandson is likewise uncertain where his position will be at that time. A nephew of Neils Bohr is going round and round with the producer concerning the level of pay. Zeeman's twin nieces are split as to whether to participate, and, of course, anyone associated with Pauli is excluded altogether. Finally the panel is set, and instructions are given. The panelists put on blindfolds, and an unknown element is vaporized to give off light. By looking at an instant replay of the resulting spectrum (also known as a flashback) the panelists are to identify the elements (A la "What's My Line?"). The element used is a real toughie because the panelists are not allowed to measure the wavelength of the line shown. However, Dr. J asks that the replay be run in slow motion (and I mean slow motion). He determines that the atom radiates for 10-9 seconds in producing one photon, and that each photon contains 1.18 x 106  wavelengths. From this, he calculates the wavelength and correctly identifies the element as mercury. 
 
What is the wavelength?

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