Conceptual Physics (12th Edition)

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

Chapter 30 - Think and Explain - Page 579-581: 45


Yes. The radiant energy from an incandescent solid contains an infinite number of frequencies, spread smoothly across the electromagnetic spectrum.

Work Step by Step

Atomic excitation occurs in all matter: solids, liquids, and gases. Atoms in solids/liquids are tightly packed. Their energy levels interact, and radiation from them is smudged into a broad distribution, producing a smooth spectrum. On the other hand, the radiation from widely-spaced gas atoms is emitted at discrete wavelengths. This is discussed on pages 567-569.
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