• Max Planck
– The energy contained in radiation is related to the frequency of the radiation by the relationship
is a positive integer called the
quantum number f
is the frequency of the oscillation
– A discreet packet of energy, later to become known as “a photon”
• The energy levels of the molecules must be discreet
• Only transitions by an amount E=
• The implication is that light is discreet or quantised energy
These quantum levels are known as number states
Spectral Analysis of the Elements
Studying the light emitted by an object in order to know something about that object!
a collection all possible wavelengths/ frequencies of light
Pattern of bright spectral lines produced by an element.
Pattern of dark spectral lines where light within a number of narrow frequency ranges has been removed.
Bright Line Emission Spectra
1st law: A luminous solid or liquid, or a sufficiently dense gas, emits light of all wavelengths and produces a
continuous spectrum of radiation.
2nd law: A low-density hot gas emits light whose spectrum consists of a series of bright emission lines which are characteristic of the chemical composition of the gas.
3rd law: A cool thin gas absorbs certain wavelengths from a continuous spectrum, leaving dark absorption lines in their place superimposed on the continuous spectrum.
Type of spectrum seen depends on the temperature of the thin gas relative to the background temperature.
TOP: thin gas cooler than background, absorption lines seen.
BOTTOM: thin gas hotter than background, emission lines seen.
Analyzing the light from a star can tell us:
1. The composition of the star.
2. The relative motion & rotation of the star.
3. The star’s temperature.
Shows limited Range of Light Energies Reaching Earth’s Surface