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# 34.2: Introduction


As electrons jump from one energy state to another within an atom, the atom absorbs and emits a quantum of energy specific to the jump.  The quantum of energy is called a photon.  Since light exhibits both particle and wave properties at the same time, each photon is associated with a particular wavelength and energy.

Table $$\PageIndex{1}$$

Energy per Photon

$$h$$

$$c$$

$$E = \dfrac{hc}{\lambda}$$

$$6.626 \times 10^{-34}$$ J s

$$3 \times 10^8$$ m/s

Every atom in the periodic table has unique energy levels, and thus, emits a unique pattern of photons.  The pattern of emission lines produced by photons when a gas is excited, is called an atomic spectrum.

## Contributors and Attributions

34.2: Introduction is shared under a CC BY license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by LibreTexts.

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