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Homework Help: Light emission

  1. Feb 16, 2006 #1
    why does the burning of different materials often produce flames of different colors?


    I know that various colors of flames are due to excitation...but how is that applied here?

    Kat
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 16, 2006 #2

    chroot

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    When you heat the sample up, you're exciting some of the atoms' electrons, which then fall to lower energy states and emit photons. Every element has a unique emission spectrum, due to the specific energy levels its electrons may have.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flame_test

    - Warren
     
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