Atomic Spectra

Collection of wavelengths can be emitted or absorbed by an element. Light is emitted by an atom when electrons change from a high energy state to a lower energy state, yielding an emission spectrum. Absorption of radiation can promote an electron to a higher energy level, yielding an absorption spectrum. Each element has its own characteristic set of allowed energy states and allowed transitions between energy states are unique to a particular element.

Some or all content above used with permission from J. H. Wittke.