Home | | Physics 12th Std | Types of Spectrum-Emission and Absorption Spectrum-Fraunhofer Lines

Chapter: 12th Physics : Electromagnetic Waves

Types of Spectrum-Emission and Absorption Spectrum-Fraunhofer Lines

The spectra can be broadly classified into two catagories: (a) Emission spectra (b) Absorption spectra


When an object burns, it emits colours. That is, it emits electromagnetic radiation which depends on temperature. If the object becomes hot then it glows in red colour. If the temperature of the object is further increased then it glows in reddish-orange colour and becomes white when it is hottest. The spectrum in Figure 5.11 usually called as black body spectrum (refer plus one volume two Unit 8). It is a continuous frequency (or wavelength) curve and depends on the body’s temperature.

Suppose we allow a beam of white light to pass through the prism as shown in Figure 5.12, it is split into its seven constituent colours which can be viewed on the screen as continuous spectrum. 

This phenomenon is known as dispersion of light and the definite pattern of colours obtained on the screen after dispersion is called as spectrum. The plural for spectrum is spectra. The spectra can be broadly classified into two catagories:


(a) Emission spectra

When the spectrum of self luminous source is taken, we get emission spectrum. Each source has its own characteristic emission spectrum. The emission spectrum can be divided into three types:


(i) Continuous emission spectra (or continuous spectra)

If the light from incandescent lamp (filament bulb) is allowed to pass through prism (simplest spectroscope), it splits into seven colours. Thus, it consists of wavelengths containing all the visible colours ranging from violet to red (Figure 5.13). Examples: spectrum obtained from carbon arc, incandescent solids, liquids gives continuous spectra.


(ii) Line emission spectrum (or line spectrum):

Suppose light from hot gas is allowed to pass through prism, line spectrum is observed (Figure 5.14). Line spectra are also known as discontinuous spectra. The line spectra are sharp lines of definite wavelengths or frequencies. Such spectra arise due to excited atoms of elements. These lines are the characteristics of the element which means it is different for different elements. Examples: spectra of atomic hydrogen, helium, etc.


(iii) Band emission spectrum (or band spectrum)

Band spectrum consists of several number of very closely spaced spectral lines which overlapped together forming specific bands which are separated by dark spaces, known as band spectra. This spectrum has a sharp edge at one end and fades out at the other end. Such spectra arise when the molecules are excited. Band spectrum is the characteristic of the molecule hence, the structure of the molecules can be studied using their band spectra. Examples, spectra of hydrogen gas, ammonia gas in the discharge tube etc.


(b) Absorption spectra

When light is allowed to pass through a medium or an absorbing substance then the spectrum obtained is known as absorption spectrum. It is the characteristic of absorbing substance. Absorption spectrum is classified into three types:


(i) Continuous absorption spectrum

When the light is passed through a medium, it is dispersed by the prism, we get continuous absorption spectrum. For instance, when we pass white light through a blue glass plate, it absorbs everything except blue. This is an example of continuous absorption spectrum.


(ii) Line absorption spectrum

When light from the incandescent lamp is passed through cold gas (medium), the spectrum obtained through the dispersion due to prism is line absorption spectrum (Figure 5.15). Similarly, if the light from the carbon arc is made to pass through sodium vapour, a continuous spectrum of carbon arc with two dark lines in the yellow region of sodium vapour is obtained.


(iii) Band absorption spectrum

When the white light is passed through the iodine vapour, dark bands on continuous bright background is obtained. This type of band is also obtained when white light is passed through diluted solution of blood or chlorophyll or through certain solutions of organic and inorganic compounds.

Fraunhofer lines

When the spectrum obtained from the Sun is examined, it consists of large number of dark lines (line absorption spectrum). These dark lines in the solar spectrum are known as Fraunhofer lines (Figure 5.16). The absorption spectra for various materials are compared with the Fraunhofer lines in the solar spectrum, which helps in identifying elements present in the Sun’s atmosphere.

Study Material, Lecturing Notes, Assignment, Reference, Wiki description explanation, brief detail
12th Physics : Electromagnetic Waves : Types of Spectrum-Emission and Absorption Spectrum-Fraunhofer Lines |

Privacy Policy, Terms and Conditions, DMCA Policy and Compliant

Copyright © 2018-2023 BrainKart.com; All Rights Reserved. Developed by Therithal info, Chennai.