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Question 5: How will you differentiate between a continuous and a line spectrum?


Continuous Spectrum

Line Spectrum

1) It is obtained by the dispersion of ordinary light by the prism.

It is obtained due to the excitation (or de-excitation) of the electrons between the orbits.

2) No clear separating boundary can be seen between the colors.

There is a clear-cut boundary between the colors.

3) Continuous spectrum contains all wavelength.

Line spectrum has particular types of wavelengths.

4) The colors partially overlap with each other.

The spectrum consists of bright lines separated by dark spaces.

A classical example of continuous spectrum is the rainbow; produced either by passing the sunlight through mist or passing the same light through a prism. In both cases, the colors seem to be of equal intensity and overlapping with one another.

Example of line spectrum is heating an element to incandescence and then passing the light through a prism. The spectrum of such light will consist of few distinct lines with gaps between them.


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