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Structure 1.3.1—Emission spectra are produced by atoms emitting photons when electrons in excited states return to lower energy levels.


Here are experiments our science specialists have selected to support this IB* topic.

Metal Poisoning

Experiment #12 from Forensic Chemistry Experiments

  • Carry out an investigation to capture emission spectra of metal ions in solution.
  • Analyze data to identify the color and wavelength of the most prominent peaks in the spectrum of each metal ion.
  • Use mathematical representations to calculate the energy of the photons producing the peaks in the spectra.
  • Interpret data to identify the unknown metal in a sports drink by comparing emission spectra from known metals.

Educational Standard
International Baccalaureate (IB) 2025
Organizing concepts
Structure 1. Models of the particulate nature of matter
Structure 1.3—Electron configurations
Standard level and higher level

* The IB Diploma Program is an official program of the International Baccalaureate Organization (IBO) which authorizes schools to offer it. The material available here has been developed independently of the IBO and is not endorsed by it.