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the wave's height from zero to the crest

Atomic Emission Spectrum

the pattern formed when light passes through a prism or diffraction grating to separate it into the different frequencies of light it contains

Atomic Orbital

a mathematical expression describing the probability of finding an electron at various locations; usually represented by the region of space around the nucleus where there is a high probability of finding an electron

Aufbau Principle

the rule that electrons occupy the orbitals of lowest energy first

Electromagnetic Radiation

energy waves that travel in vacuum at a speed of 2.998 x10^8 m/s; includes radio waves, microwaves, infrared waves,visible light, ultraviolet waves, x-rays, and gamma rays

Electron Configurations

the arrangement of electrons of an atom in its ground state into various orbitals around the nuclei of atoms

Energy Levels

the specific energies an electron in an atom or other system can have


the number of wave cycles that pass a given point per unit of time

Ground State

the lowest possible energy of an tom described by Quantum Mechanics

Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle

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

Hertz (Hz)

the unit of frequency, equal to one cycle per second

Hund's Rule

electrons occupy orbitals of the same energy in a way that makes the number of electrons with the same spin direction as large as possible

Parli Exclusion Principle

an atomic orbital may describe at most two electrons, each with opposite spin direction


a quantum of light, a discrete bundle of electromagnetic energy that interacts with matter similarly to particles


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

Quantum Mechanical Model

the modern description, primarily mathematical, of the behavior of electrons in atoms


wavelengths of visible light that are separated when a beam of light passes through a prism, range of wavelengths of electromagnetic radiation


the distance between adjacent crest of a wave

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