continuous spectrum

types of spectrum compared: continuous, emission and absorption

A continuous spectrum is a spectrum in which all wavelengths are present between certain limits; it is produced by electrons undergoing free-bound transitions in a hot gas. White light for example can be dispersed by a prism to give a continuous spectrum in the optical region of the spectrum from red to violet. Dark absorption lines crossing a continuous spectrum are caused by the absorption of radiation at specific wavelengths.


Compare with absorption spectrum and emission spectrum.