Emission Spectra vs. Absorption Spectra

Everything that has some relevance to the field of physics has the phenomenon of electromagnetic within them. How they show it, depends on the nature of the material and the way we look at it. Different techniques get used to defining emission and absorption spectra, and that makes the basis of the main difference between them. Emission spectra get defined as the electromagnetic radiation that a source emits with a particular frequency. But on the other hand, Absorption Spectra gets defined as the electromagnetic radiation that a substance emits and shows various dark color lines that result due to the particular absorption of wavelengths.

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1200 605031 emission vs absorption spectrum

Contents: Difference between Emission Spectra and Absorption Spectra

Comparison Chart

Basis of DistinctionEmission SpectraAllotropic Spectra
DefinitionEmission spectra get defined as the electromagnetic radiation that a source emits.Absorption Spectra gets defined as the electromagnetic radiation that a substance absorbs.
NatureThe lines that occur during the emission spectra show some spark.The lines that occur during the absorption spectra shows some dip in the spectrum.
DependenceEmission does not depend on matching ones and carries out at any level.Absorption requires some degree of wavelength for the process to carry itself out.
ColorsDoes not have many color changes because it only focuses on a path and few dark colors.Different colors are present as the frequencies will have their own lines.
Visibility Visible at many levels of lines of frequencies.Only occurs at the frequencies that match at the same time.
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What is Emission Spectra?

Emission spectra get defined as the electromagnetic radiation that a source emits. When we move towards a broader definition, it becomes the emission of frequencies from a chemical element or a compound due to the nature of the atom or molecule that move from a state of higher energy level to lower energy level. The levels of energy produced during this upper and lower level transition are what we call photon energy. Even in physics, when a particle gets converted to a lesser state from a larger state we call the process emission, and it carries out with the help of photon and produces energy as a result of the activity. The power always generated equal to the photon to keep the equilibrium. The whole process starts when electrons within an atom have some source of excitement, the particles get pushed to orbitals that are higher in energy. When the state finishes and comes back to the previous level, the photon gets all the power. Not all types of colors get produced during this program, that means the same kind of frequencies occurs depending on the color. Radiation from molecules plays a significant role towards the process as well as the energy may change due to rotation or vibration. Different phenomenon gets associated with the term, and one such is emission spectroscopy; a complete analysis of light takes place, and the elements get separated based on the levels of frequencies. Another function of such an activity becomes knowing the nature of the material along with the composition.

What is Absorption Spectra?

Absorption Spectra gets defined as the electromagnetic radiation that a substance emits and shows various dark color lines that result due to the particular absorption of wavelengths. What happens during this actions is that the radiation gets absorbed instead of emitted, and therefore some changes take place that is different from the emission. The best example of such a process is water that does not have any color and therefore does not have any absorption spectrum. Similarly, starts become another example that seems white colored and get defined with the help of their absorption spectrum. To get the hang of all the process, we see that the spectroscopy technique gets employed, absorption spectrum gets explained as the incident radiation absorbed by the material with the help of different frequencies. The process of finding them becomes easier because of the composition of atoms and molecules. Radiation gets absorbed at levels where the frequencies match, and thus we have an idea when the process begins. This particular level becomes known as the absorption line where the transition process carries out while all the other lines get referred to as the spectrum. It does have some relation with the emission, but the main difference is the frequency where they occur, radiation does not depend on matching ones and carries out at any level, on the other hand, absorption requires some degree of wavelength for the process to carry itself out. But both provide information regarding the quantum mechanical state of objects and add to the theoretical models that we study.

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Key Differences between Emission Spectra and Absorption Spectra

  1. Emission spectra get defined as the electromagnetic radiation that a source emits with frequency. But on the other hand, Absorption Spectra gets defined as the electromagnetic radiation that a substance emits and shows various dark color lines that result due to the absorption of wavelengths.
  2. The lines that occur during the emission spectra show some spark whereas the lines that occur during the absorption spectra shows some dip in the spectrum.
  3. Emission does not depend on matching ones and carries out at any level, on the other hand, absorption requires some degree of wavelength for the process to carry itself out.
  4. When an atom or molecule gets excited due to an external source, then the energy gets emitted and cause the phenomenon of emission whereas when an atom or molecule comes back to the original position after the process, then the radiation gets absorbed.
  5. Emission spectrum may be visible at many levels of lines of frequencies as it does not depend on any matching, whereas absorption spectrum only occurs at the frequencies that match at the same time.
  6. Different colors are present during the absorption spectrum as the frequencies will have their own lines and colors depending on their nature, on the other hand, emission spectrum does not have many color changes because it only focuses on a path and few dark colors.

Video Explanation

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