Spectral Line

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Related to Resonance broadening: collision broadening

spectral line

[′spek·trəl ‚līn]
(spectroscopy)
A discrete value of a quantity, such as frequency, wavelength, energy, or mass, whose spectrum is being investigated; one may observe a finite spread of values resulting from such factors as level width, Doppler broadening, and instrument imperfections. Also known as spectrum line.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Spectral Line

 

a thin line in an optical spectrum. Each such line can be characterized by a certain wavelength λ or frequency v = c/λ, where c is the speed of light. Spectral lines are observed in emission spectra as bright (colored) lines on a dark background and in absorption spectra as dark lines on a bright background. Each spectral line corresponds to a definite quantum transition in an atom, molecule, or crystal. Spectral lines are not strictly monochromatic: each one has a certain width Δλ.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.