Emission and Absorption Lines Feature Summary
- From Physics Research
- A spectrum shows light spread out according to its color. The continuous spectrum with dark absorption lines, which is shown twice above, is sunlight, and the emission lines, in the other spectra, are from the elements indicated--magnesium, hydrogen, and sodium. Can you find any of their emission lines in the solar spectrum?
For the difference between absorption lines and emission lines, see the diagram in Solar Spectrum.
Can you match any of these emission lines to absorption lines in the solar spectrum? For a simulation of the spectra of many common elements, see Spectra of Gas Discharges.
(This feature was updated on July 27, 2011.)
- image credits: Lawrence S. Anderson-Huang, The University of Toledo; image source
- Image URL:
- January 16, 2008 - February 1, 2008