level in the atom after absorbing energy first, from heat of a Bunsen burner flame and second from electricity of a gas discharge tube. When the electrons in the atom “relax” or fall back to their ground state location, they must give up the excess energy they possessed in the excited state. This excess energy is given off in the form of the visible light you will observe. The wavelength (color) of the light observed is a direct measure of the difference in energy an electron possessed in the excited state relative to the ground state. Please refer to the “Atomic Emission Animation” on YouTube at, . You will also observe that different elements have different line spectra (emission lines) due to the different number and arrangement of the electrons in atoms of different elements. The fact that different elements have individual characteristic flame colors and emission line spectra can often be used to identify or verify the presence of a particular element. A pathologist, for example, might use the flame test concept to screen for possible hazardous materials. In this virtual experiment, we will observe how a flame (heat) excites the electrons in 6 “Known” samples so they will emit characteristic colors. These colors directly correlate to a characteristic wavelength, λ frequency, υ and Energy, E. You will identify each color (remember ROYGB IV=Red,Orange,Yellow, Green, Indigo, & Violet) within the visible spectrum and approximate the wavelength using a reference chart (see final pages of this handout for colors of the visible spectrum). Each one of the known elements will be recorded in your experiment along with its characteristic emission color & wavelength.