Physical Chemistry : Emission and Absorption Spectra

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for Physical Chemistry

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Example Questions

Example Question #1 : Emission And Absorption Spectra

After undergoing emission a molecule is __________ stable and after undergoing absorption a molecule is __________ stable.

Possible Answers:

less . . . more

more . . . more

less . . . less

more . . . less

Correct answer:

more . . . less


Emission is the process of releasing (or emitting) photons from an atom whereas absorption is the process of absorbing photons. After emission, the atom releases energy (in the form of photons) and goes to a lower energy state. In absorption, however, the atom absorbs energy and goes to a higher energy state. Recall that lower energy always means more stable; therefore, after emission, an atom or molecule goes to a more stable state whereas after absorption it goes to a less stable state.

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