How would you compare and contrast the continuous spectrum and emission spectrum?

1 Answer


They are both emission spectra, but one has all wavelengths while the other has only specific wavelengths with gaps between them.


Continuous spectrum: a spectrum that has all wavelengths with no gaps over a wide range.

Solids at high temperatures, like the filament of an electric lamp, produce continuous spectra.

Emission spectrum: when an electron in an excited state moves to a lower energy level, it emits a certain amount of energy as photons.

The spectrum for this transition consists of lines because the energy levels are quantized.

The emission appears as coloured lines against a black background.