What causes colors to be emitted when ions are put into a flame?
Please write a paragraph answer and include these words: electron, electron configuration, exicited state, ground state, emission of a photon, energy levels, metallic ion. I do not understand why so i would appreciate your answers.
Ions are atoms which have given electrons to, or gained electrons from, atoms of other elements. The ions thus formed have a more stable electron configuration. When a compound is heated, the ions absorb energy. This changes their electron configuration and it reaches an excited state. In an effort to return to the original electron state, which is also called ground state, the ions release the energy that they have absorbed.
The release of energy is accompanied by the emission of a photon. Now the color of light is determined by the wavelength of the photon and the relation between the energy of a photon and its wavelength is E = c*h/ L where E is the energy, c is the speed of light, h is the Planck's constant and L is the wavelength.
The energy absorbed by ions is dependent on the energy level of the ground electron configuration and the energy levels of the excited states. As this varies for different metallic ions, so does the color that is emitted by them when they are heated.