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Light - (wavelength color hits the atom we can get the...

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Light: Spectroscopy and Atoms Introduction Sometimes we are interested in determining the composition of a  star or the atmosphere of a planet. We can do that by studying the  spectrum of light coming to us from these objects.   There are 3 types of spectra: 1. Continuous spectrum like a rainbow source: radiation from heat (like we discussed in the last lecture)  from hot solids or hot dense gasses 2. Absorption line spectrum dark lines in a continuous spectrum => light absorbed at certain  wavelengths source: cooler gas with a continuous source behind it 3. Emission line spectrum bright lines at certain wavelengths (no continuous spectrum) source: hot gas Why line spectra ? line spectra will lead us to the structure of atoms
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the orbits of electrons (and the spacing between them) can be  treated like the rungs of a ladder. absorption spectrum:  If light with just the right amount of energy 
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Unformatted text preview: (wavelength, color) hits the atom, we can get the electron to jump to the next higher level. Only this color of light will be absorbed. CD: Look under Astronomy Basics / Light and Atoms / Animations. The first choice whose description begins "Energy is released . . " describes atomic shells and light. (2nd ed: See the Movie Gallery for Chapter 3: page 3 describes atomic shells, page 4 describes absorption of light.) emission spectrum: If an electron jumps down from a higher level to a lower level, light with a specific energy (wavelength) will be emitted. The steps can have different sizes => different energies => different wavelengths (colors) absorbed or emitted Each element has different spacings. => use pattern of absorption or emission lines to identify each element => a fingerprint oxygen: helium:...
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