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EM Spectrum

scale that shows different types of light waves; range of frequencies & wavelengths


the distance (measured in the direction of propagation) between two points in the same phase in consecutive cycles of a wave


the number of complete wavelengths that pass a point in a given time


the unit of frequency

Photoelectric effect

the emission of electrons from a material when light of certain frequencies shines on the surface of the material


the amount of energy needed to move an electron from one energy level to another

Planck's constant

A fundamental constant, h, that relates the energy of light quanta to their frequency: h = 6.6 X 10^-34 joule·second


A particle of electromagnetic radiation with no mass that carries a quantum of energy

Bohr Model

model of the atom in which electrons move rapidly around the nucleus in paths called orbits

Ground state

a state in which all the electrons in an atom have the lowest possible energies

Excited state

condition of an atom whose electrons are at higher energy levels than the ones they normally occupy

Line emission spectrum

a series of specific wavelengths of emitted light created when the visible portion of light from excited atoms is shined through a prism

Quantum Model of the Atom

an atomic model in which electrons are treated as waves; also called the wave mechanical model of the atom

Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle

it is impossible to know exactly both the velocity and the position of a particle at the same time

Schrodinger's wave equation

predicts where each electron in an atom will probably be found, i.e. orbitals

Atomic orbital

A three-dimensional region around the nucleus of an atom that describes an electron's probable location

Atomic sublevel


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