How is a spectrum created
Atomic energy exchange
Basically, a distinction is made between spectra according to the type of their formationEmission spectra and Absorption spectra. Continuous spectra or discrete line spectra can occur.
The emission spectrum is understood to be the electromagnetic spectrum that is emitted by bodies, atoms or molecules after suitable excitation, e.g. by heating, impact by electrons, etc. The bodies, atoms or molecules represent the radiation transmitters.
Continuous and discrete emission spectra
Hot materials such as a filament or the sun usually send in continuous emission spectrum out. If you examine such a spectrum with a prism or a spectrometer, you will find that with such a continuous spectrum the different colors from red to violet merge seamlessly into one another (see Fig. 1).
In contrast, atoms or molecules of a dilute gas emitdiscrete emission spectra, also called line spectra. Discrete emission spectra usually consist of several individual lines that are separated from one another. The positions of the individual lines in the spectrum are characteristic of the respective atom or molecule. Typical spectral lamps are mercury and sodium vapor lamps.
If you shine through bodies, atoms or molecules (not too hot) with white light, it may be that lines or entire areas are missing in the per se continuous spectrum of white light after the radiation. In this case one speaks of a discrete absorption spectrum. In this case, the bodies, atoms or molecules represent radiation absorbers.
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