# Why are atomic emissions not continuous?

Quick answer: Atomic spectra are continuous because the energy levels of electrons in atoms are quantized. The electrons in an atom can have only certain energy levels. There is no middle ground. There is nothing between each line, so the spectrum is discontinuous.

Continuous spectrum of white light only deals with the frequencies and wavelengths of colors associated with the rainbow. Atomic emission spectrum deals with the colors, frequencies, and wavelengths that are released by a particular atom.

Secondly, what is continuous and discontinuous spectrum? A continuous electromagnetic spectrum contains every wavelength between the wavelength on which the spectrum starts and the wavelength on which the spectrum ends. A discontinuous electromagnetic spectrum is a spectrum that contains gaps, holes, or breaks in terms of the wavelengths that it contains.

Furthermore, is the emission spectrum continuous?

A continuous spectrum contains many different colors, or wavelengths, with no gaps. Perfectly white light shined through a prism causes dispersion of the light, and we see a rainbow. This is a continuous spectrum. The lines in the emission spectrum are called emission lines.

Why does sunlight have a continuous spectrum?

When the light leaves the surface of the Sun, it is very nearly a continuous spectrum. However, as it passes through the Sun’s atmosphere, gasses present in that atmosphere absorb specific wavelengths of light, leaving the pattern seen in the spectrum above.

### How can you use the emission spectrum of an element to identify it?

Each natural element has a characteristic light spectrum that helps identify it in samples of unknown substances. Spectroscopy is the practice of examining spectra and comparing them to those of known elements. Using spectroscopy methods, scientists can identify pure substances or compounds and the elements in them.

### What has the longest wavelength?

Violet has the shortest wavelength, at around 380 nanometers, and red has the longest wavelength, at around 700 nanometers.

### How do emission spectrums work?

How an Emission Spectrum Is Produced. When an atom or molecule absorbs energy, electrons are bumped into a higher energy state. When the electron drops to a lower energy state, a photon is released equal to the energy between the two states.

### Why does every element have a distinct atomic emission spectrum?

Each elements emission spectrum is distinct because each element has a different set of electron energy levels. The emission lines correspond to the differences between various pairs of the many energy levels. The lines (photons) are emitted as electrons fall from higher energy orbitals to lower energies.

### What emission spectrum tells us?

Each element has a different atomic spectrum. The production of line spectra by the atoms of an element indicate that an atom can radiate only a certain amount of energy. The emission spectrum can be used to determine the composition of a material, since it is different for each element of the periodic table.

### How is an atomic emission spectrum produced?

Thus, emission spectra are produced by thin gases in which the atoms do not experience many collisions (because of the low density). The emission lines correspond to photons of discrete energies that are emitted when excited atomic states in the gas make transitions back to lower-lying levels.

### What is the origin of an element’s atomic emission spectrum?

What is the origin of the atomic emission spectrum of an element? When atoms absorb energy, their electrons move to higher energy levels. The light emitted by an electron moving from a higher to a lower energy level has a frequency directly proportional to the energy change of the electron.

### What does a dark line in a spectrum mean?

When we see dark lines in a spectrum, they correspond to certain wavelengths being missing due to absorption by matter (in the form of atoms/molecules) on their way. So the dark line represents “absence of light” in a spectrum, not any particular wavelength (color) of light.

### What is the classic continuous spectrum?

A rainbow is an example of a continuous spectrum. Most continuous spectra are from hot, dense objects like stars, planets, or moons. The continuous spectrum from these kinds of objects is also called a thermal spectrum, because hot, dense objects will emit electromagnetic radiation at all wavelengths or colors.

### What color has the most energy?

The color that has the most energy is violet. Since violet waves have the shortest wave length, they carry the most energy.

### Why is the emission spectrum important?

The different colors of light produced by emission spectra of different elements allows them to be identified. So elements can be identified by the colors their atoms produce when energy (by heating or electric current) is used to reveal their emission fingerprints.

### Is light continuous?

Light travels as a wave. The other rule of thumb is that light interacts; it’s emitted or absorbed in the form of discrete particles, discrete photons, lumps of discrete energy. The answer for light appears to be that light is both discrete and continuous.

### How do you make a continuous spectrum?

You can create your own continuous spectrum with a prism. A prism is made up of any transparent material that can angle light that passes through it. As light enters the prism and leaves another angle, the light is spread through the continuous spectrum.

### What is continuous source?

A continuous source, also referred to as a broadband source, emits radiation containing a broad range of wavelengths.