How do atoms emit and absorb light?
Considering this, why do atoms absorb and emit light of only certain energies?
An atom changes from a ground state to an excited state by taking on energy from its surroundings in a process called absorption. The electron absorbs the energy and jumps to a higher energy level. Because the atom can only absorb specific amounts of energy, only certain wavelengths of light will be absorbed.
Subsequently, question is, do atoms emit light? The frequencies of light that an atom can emit are dependent on states the electrons can be in. When excited, an electron moves to a higher energy level or orbital. When the electron falls back to its ground level the light is emitted.
Furthermore, what causes light to be emitted from atoms?
Light is the result of electrons moving between defined energy levels in an atom, called shells. When something excites an atom, such as a collision with another atom or a chemical electron, an electron may absorb the energy, boosting it up to a higher-level shell.
Why do sodium atoms emit light?
A sodium atom has 11 electrons, and because of the way they're stacked in orbitals one of those electrons is most likely to accept and emit energy. The energy packets that this electron is most likely to emit fall right around a wavelength of 590 nanometers. This wavelength corresponds to yellow light.