Spectroscopy is the study of the way light interacts with matter. While there are many processes that can occur, the absorption (taking in) and emission (releasing) of light is of the most interest to us.
Spectroscopy is of great importance because the interaction of matter and light is very characteristic of the matter. We can tell something about the makeup of the substance from the type of light with which it interacts. Often we are able to tell if a particular substance is present in a sample by the interaction, or lack of interaction, the sample has with light we shine on it.
To understand more about spectroscopy, we need to know about the properties of light, and the energy levels in the material we are studying. The following activity should help.
The experiment is composed of four parts (background, practicalities, experiment, postlab) that should be completed in the order listed below.