posted by Rebecca on .
What is the explanation for the discrete lines in atomic emission spectra?
Light (a photon) is emitted by an atom when an electron jumps from a higher to a lower energy level. According to the Bohr theory of the atom, the energy levels that an electron can occupy in a atom are discreet. If the energy levels are discreet, their differences (photon energies, wavelengths, and colors) must also be discreet. Each spectral line represents a discreet energy difference.
The term "discreet" implies only certain definite values are possible with no other values in the intervals between the allowed discreet values.
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