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Unformatted text preview: returns to its ground state. When that happens, the amount of energy absorbed in forming the excited
state is released (emitted), usually in the form of heat or light. When the energy is emitted in the form of a photon
in the visible region of the electromagnetic spectrum, the material will appear to have color.
In emission, the
observed color is produced directly by the energy change; complementary colors are not involved. In a
collection of atoms, molecules or ions, many photons are emitted, and they may not all correspond to the same
color. This is because not all of the atoms, molecules or ions form the same excited state, and the paths used by
different electrons to return to the ground state may not be the same. The emitted photons collectively result in
the observed emission spectrum. The eye perceives this as light of a specific color, which is actually a blend of
the emitted wavelengths. The spectrum or color is characteristic of the atom, molecule or ion that emitted it, and
can be us...
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This document was uploaded on 01/22/2014.
- Spring '14