Continuous Spectrum Example

A continuous spectrum example we all love watching:

If you are thinking about a continuous spectrum example the first that comes to mind whenever we talk of continuous spectra is the rainbow. When sunlight is refracted through the tiny moisture drops that are still present in the sky following rainfall, you get all the seven colors from red to violet. The moisture droplets acts here as a prism.

Nevertheless, that rainbow is not your perfect continuous spectrum example as you will soon find out when you subject the sun’s light through a spectrometer.

One requirement of a true continuous spectrum is that no gaps should be present in the graphed display. The sun’s rainbow may contain all the seven wavelengths but there are gaps between the lines where you cannot see anything. These absorption gaps are as a result of elements like helium and hydrogen present in sunlight and also in the sun itself.

If you want to get a perfect continuous prism, then you need a well set lab environment or facility that has equipment emitting white light. The setting should block any other light from entering the room as this could cause interference. Subjecting white light through a prism is the simplest way of getting your continuous spectrum.

Before Sir Isaac Newton made proof of his experiments available, it was believed that white light was pure and one of the basic colors present in other colors. He performed two popular experiments which included passing white light through a prism to refract the wavelengths and rotating a circular dish (on which all the seven colors have been painted in the correct order) at a fast pace. You can find modern prisms and experiment with the sun’s light; note the gaps that will be formed.


Continuous Spectrum Example
Continuous Spectrum Example

Another continuous spectrum example is a glowing object. When atoms are heated to glowing point, they give away all the energy they absorbed and emit white light containing all the wavelengths. it is equally easy to understand that this is why hot objects like stars and moons emit pure white light at night.

More spectrum examples:


More on continuous spectrum itself can be found here