Thursday, November 11, 2010

Question #18

18) What is the explanation for the discrete lines in atomic emission spectra?  How did this affect the model of the atom?

The discrete lines in the atomic emission spectra is from light emitted from the atoms transition back to the ground state from its excited state.  The atom gains this excited state when current flows through the atom and gains a brief potential energy.  Using an atom this light is split into different frequencies, or colors, of light in discrete lines.  This showed us that electrons must be in specific energy levels in the space of the atom.