When heated or exposed to electricity, the electrons in atoms of a given element gain energy and move to a higher energy level or orbit; they do not maintain this position but re-emit the energy as light of a specific wavelength, generating color. For elements in a solid or liquid state, this light generally appears as a rainbow while elements in a gaseous state reveal their atomic emission spectra, the specific bands of color produced by that elements particular electron configuration.Continue Reading
When an atom is heated it gains energy. This energy is absorbed by the electrons and it causes them to move to higher energy levels or orbitals. The electron then drops back down to its original energy level, releasing a photon with a wavelength that corresponds to the energy gained and then lost by the electron.
The emission spectrum of a particular element is the characteristic wavelengths of light produced by the atoms of that element when heated as a gas. These wavelengths are distinctive because the different electron configurations in different atoms cause different wavelengths of light to be emitted. Which wavelength is predominant in the emission spectrum of an element will determine what color you see when that element is heated as a gas.Learn more about Chemistry
Light is created when electrons orbiting an atom become energized to move into a higher orbit, and then drop down to a lower orbit, releasing a small amount of energy in the process. This energy is called a photon, which is the fundamental particle of light.Full Answer >
To find the number of electrons an element has, locate it on the periodic table of elements, find the atomic number, and note the number of protons; because atoms are naturally electrically neutral, the protons and electrons are usually equal. Look at the oxidation number for further information.Full Answer >
The reactivity of a metal is determined by how tightly the metal holds onto the electrons in its outermost energy level. These electrons are called valence electrons. Metals usually have fewer valence electrons than nonmetals.Full Answer >
Violet light has the most energy per photon of any visible color of light with a wavelength of about 400 nm. Ultraviolet light has an even smaller wavelength and as a result, more energy per photon, but it is invisible to the human eye.Full Answer >