|MadSci Network: Physics|
Hi I was wondering if someone could help me to get a clearer picture of why some elements, tungsten for instance, produce a continuous spectrum whilst others, zinc/cadmium, produce line spectra. I am unsure how I could possibly predict whether an element would produce one or the other type of spectrum. As both types depend on electron transitions from higher to lower energy levels within their atoms, then I don't see how there are two different results. It is something to do with the temperature of the substance whose spectrum I am measuring? Tungsten I know has a very high melting point and can therefore withstand very high temperatures. However, surely it's atoms contain only specific energy levels and thus only specific transitions can occur, thus resulting in specific lines. This is obviously not the case! Thanks very much for your help. Nuala
Re: Continuous V's Line Spectra
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