Credit: SHEILA TERRY/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Flame emission spectra of the alkali metals, as recorded by Robert Bunsen (1811-1899) and Gustav Kirchhoff (1824-1887). Working together, Bunsen and Kirchhoff were the first to observe that heated elements emitted a light of characteristic wavelength. When the elements are heated the electrons within it become excited. To return to their ground state they release the extra energy as light radiation at a specific wavelength. Image taken from Lessons in Elementary Chemistry (Roscoe, 1873).

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Keywords: 1800s, 1873, 19th century, alkali metal, alkaline, atomic flame spectroscopy, characteristic, chemical, chemical reaction, chemistry, element, elements, flame emission, flamed, gustav kirchhoff, line, lines, radiation, robert bunsen, spectra, spectral, spectrometer, spectroscopy, spectrum, table, wavelength, wavelengths

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Flame emission spectra of alkali metals

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