Study your flashcards anywhere!

Download the official Cram app for free >

  • Shuffle
    Toggle On
    Toggle Off
  • Alphabetize
    Toggle On
    Toggle Off
  • Front First
    Toggle On
    Toggle Off
  • Both Sides
    Toggle On
    Toggle Off
  • Read
    Toggle On
    Toggle Off

How to study your flashcards.

Right/Left arrow keys: Navigate between flashcards.right arrow keyleft arrow key

Up/Down arrow keys: Flip the card between the front and back.down keyup key

H key: Show hint (3rd side).h key

A key: Read text to speech.a key


Play button


Play button




Click to flip

41 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back
absolute zero
The theoretical lowest possible temperature at which a material contains no extractable heat energy. Zero on the Kelvin temperature scale. (p. 108)
absorption line
A dark line in a spectrum. Produced by the absence of photons absorbed by atoms or molecules. (p. 110)
absorption spectrum (dark-line spectrum)
A spectrum that contains absorption lines. (p. 110)
Balmer series
A series of spectral lines produced by hydrogen in the near-ultraviolet and visible parts of the spectrum. The three longest-wavelength Balmer lines are visible to the human eye. (p. 111)
blue shift
A Doppler shift toward shorter wavelengths caused by a velocity of approach. (p. 105)
bright-line spectrum
See emission spectrum.
continuous spectrum
A spectrum in which there are no absorption or emission lines. (p. 110)
Coulomb force
The electrostatic force of repulsion or attraction between charged bodies. (p. 105)
dark-line spectrum
See absorption spectrum.
Doppler effect
The change in the wavelength of radiation due to relative radial motion of source and observer. (p. 115)
Low-mass atomic particle carrying a negative charge. (p. 104)
emission line
A bright line in a spectrum caused by the emission of photons from atoms. (p. 110)
emission spectrum (bright-line spectrum)
A spectrum containing emission lines. (p. 110)
energy level
One of a number of states an electron may occupy in an atom, depending on its binding energy. (p. 106)
excited atom
An atom in which an electron has moved from a lower to a higher energy level. (p. 106)
ground state
The lowest permitted electron energy level in an atom. (p. 107)
Energy stored in a material as agitation among its particles. (p. 107)
An atom that has lost or gained one or more electrons. (p. 105)
The process in which atoms lose or gain electrons. (p. 105)
Atoms that have the same number of protons but a different number of neutrons. (p. 105)
joule (J)
A unit of energy equivalent to a force of 1 newton acting over a distance of 1 m. One joule per second equals 1 watt of power. (p. 109)
Kelvin temperature scale
A temperature scale using Celsius degrees and based on zero at absolute zero. (p. 107)
Kirchhoff 's laws
A set of laws that describe the absorption and emission of light by matter. (p. 110)
L dwarf
A main-sequence star cooler than an M star. (p. 114)
Lyman series
Spectral lines in the ultraviolet spectrum of hydrogen produced by transitions whose lowest energy level is the ground state. (p. 111)
Two or more atoms bonded together. (p. 105)
An atomic particle with no charge and about the same mass as a proton. (p. 104)
nucleus (of an atom)
The central core of an atom containing protons and neutrons. Carries a net positive charge. (p. 104)
Paschen series
Spectral lines in the infrared spectrum of hydrogen produced by transitions whose lowest energy level is the third. (p. 111)
permitted orbit
One of the energy levels in an atom that an electron may occupy. (p. 106)
A positively charged atomic particle contained in the nucleus of an atom. The nucleus of a hydrogen atom. (p. 104)
quantum mechanics
The study of the behavior of atoms and atomic particles. (p. 105)
radial velocity (Vr)
That component of an object's velocity directed away from or toward Earth. (p. 116)
A Doppler shift toward longer wavelengths caused by a velocity of recession. (p. 115)
spectral class or type
A star's position in the temperature classification system O, B, A, F, G, K, M. Based on the appearance of the star's spectrum. (p. 113)
spectral line
A line in a spectrum at a specific wavelength produced by the absorption or emission of light by certain atoms. (p. 104)
spectral sequence
The arrangement of spectral classes (O, B, A, F, G, K, M) ranging from hot to cool. (p. 113)
T dwarf
A very cool, low-mass star or brown dwarf located below the L stars on the main sequence. (p. 114)
A measure of the agitation among the atoms and molecules of a material. The intensity of heat. (p. 107)
The movement of an electron from one atomic energy level to another. (p. 111)
wavelength of maximum intensity
The wavelength at which a perfect radiator emits the maximum amount of energy. Depends only on the object's temperature. (p. 108)