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line spectrum: see spectrumspectrum,
arrangement or display of light or other form of radiation separated according to wavelength, frequency, energy, or some other property. Beams of charged particles can be separated into a spectrum according to mass in a mass spectrometer (see mass spectrograph).
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A discontinuous spectrum characteristic of excited atoms, ions, and certain molecules in the gaseous phase at low pressures. If an electric arc or spark between metallic electrodes, or an electric discharge through a low-pressure gas, is viewed through a spectroscope, images of the spectroscope slit are seen in the characteristic colors emitted by the atoms or ions present. See Atomic structure and spectra, Spectroscopy
McGraw-Hill Concise Encyclopedia of Physics. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
line spectrum A spectrum consisting of discrete lines (spectral lines) resulting from radiation emitted or absorbed at definite wavelengths. Line spectra are produced by atoms or ionized atoms when transitions occur between their energy levels as a result of emission or absorption of photons. The Fraunhofer lines of the Sun are an example of an absorption line spectrum.
Collins Dictionary of Astronomy © Market House Books Ltd, 2006
line spectrum[′līn ‚spek·trəm]
A spectrum of radiation in which the quantity being studied, such as frequency or energy, takes on discrete values.
Conventionally, the spectra of atoms, ions, and certain molecules in the gaseous phase at low pressures; distinguished from band spectra of molecules, which consist of a pattern of closely spaced spectral lines which could not be resolved by early spectroscopes.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.