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The atomic spectra is the spectroscopic analysis of light given off by excited atoms, and shows only photons of a particular energy given off. The experiment takes the energy of the photon, and identifies its energy level. Then, using these energy levels, you can see the electronic structure of the element and be able to identify it.
Just like the comment above, the atomic spectrum shows a series of spectral lines, which are used to identify atoms and molecules. When the atoms are excited, energy or light is emitted, which corresponds to different colored lines. The colored lines produced by the atomic spectra is what helps to identify the elements.
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