Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Line Spectrum

  1. Mar 23, 2008 #1

    Air

    User Avatar

    Hello, can someone explain how a line spectrum works. How do they provide evidence of energy levels in atoms?

    I would have thought that energy levels are to do with a different concept of Bands (Valence, Conduction) so how does a line spectrum provide evidence? :confused:
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 23, 2008 #2

    Doc Al

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    When atoms are isolated (as in a gas) things are quite different than when they are stuck together (as in the solid state). Here's a bit about the hydrogen spectrum (the simplest case) that might help you: Hydrogen Spectrum
     
  4. Mar 23, 2008 #3

    Air

    User Avatar

    Thank you for the link.


    This is what I am understanding:

    Photons are associated with a particular energy and allow Electrons to change levels. Electrons are excited to higher levels (by emitting Photons) and when they fall back to lower levels, light is emitted. Different frequencies create different light and this makes up a line spectrum.

    Is it correct?
     
  5. Mar 23, 2008 #4

    Doc Al

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    I'd phrase it this way: When an electron falls from a higher energy level to a lower energy level, a photon is emitted whose frequency is proportional to the change in energy. The various energy levels and their differences determine the various photon frequencies, which form the "lines" of the spectrum (as opposed to a continuous spectrum).
     
  6. Mar 23, 2008 #5

    Gokul43201

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?