Forensic Chemistry > 6. All elements have identifiable emission spectra and this can be used to identify trace elements > Excited Atoms in The Gas Phase >
Explain why excited atoms in the gas phase emit or absorb only certain wavelengths of light
Electrons can only absorb or emit exact amounts of energy that allow them to make full jumps. This energy is known to be quantised, existing in light packets called photons.
According to Planck’s formula, absorbed or emitted energy is inversely proportional to wavelength. Therefore, electrons can only emit or absorb specific wavelengths.