What causes the color in transition metals?

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Offline farqueue

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What causes the color in transition metals?
« on: 17/10/2005 06:25:55 »
What is the reason behind the diffrent colors formed by transition metals.

I cannot remember, but i know it has something to do with light absorbing, 3d orbital bla bla... someone help me out here please?



Offline pyromaster222

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Re: What causes the color in transition metals?
« Reply #1 on: 17/10/2005 16:44:17 »
electrons in transition metals can occupy sub shells. These are electron shells between the ussual shells. When light hits an atom of a transition metal the electron is excited by the photon of light and so enters the subshell above the shell it was in before (the higher energy subshell will always be further from the nucleous as electrons furthest from the nucleous have the most energy). The electron soon loses it's energy and drops back into its original shell. the energy that was stored in the electron is released as light of a certain frequency. Thats why each transition metal gives off its own specific colour of light.

This is the principle that fireworks and neon lights are based on. and this also applies in reverse. when any element absorbs energy and the light that is given off is examined it reveals dark lines. These dark lines are the signature of the element and are the frequencys of light that are absorbed by the electrons and not given off when the electron falls back to its lower energy level. This was how Norman Lockyer identified that there was an uknown element (Helium)
in the suns atmosphere. And this helped to find helium on earth.