Moseley a brilliant student of Rutherford, in 1913 made the first detailed study of the characteristic x-ray spectrum emitted by different elements and showed that the square root of the frequency () of a spectral line is directly related with the nuclear charge (Z), if the excitation potential is fixed.
When a graph was plotted between × 10–8 and the atomic number (Z), a straight line was obtained.
The results obtained led to the suggestion that () must be directly proportional to the atomic number of an element.
To give accurate results, Mosley modified this equation as
µ (Z – b)
where b is a constant and is known as screening constant. For Ka and Kb lines, b = 1.
Hence, = a(Z – 1) .....(1)
where a is proportionality constant.
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