Conceptual Physics (12th Edition)

Published by Addison-Wesley
ISBN 10: 0321909100
ISBN 13: 978-0-32190-910-7

Chapter 30 - Think and Explain: 49

Answer

The light that was absorbed was part of a beam, i.e., it came roughly from one direction. However, the re-emitted light travels in all directions. Only a small fraction of the re-emitted light goes along the original direction, so it can't fill in the dark places. This explains the dark lines in the otherwise continuous spectrum.

Work Step by Step

Absorption spectra are discussed on page 569.
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