Spectra- Plural form of Spectrum-band of colors, as seen in a rainbow produced by the separation of the components of light by their different degrees of refraction according to wavelength.
Here is a Nerd Word just in time for the holiday season. How you may ask? Well, a spectrum is basically an array of colored light just like a rainbow. Spectra occur (notice I used the plural form that time) when light is projected through a prism, this we all know and remember from grade school. However, what isn`t as well know is that every spectra is unique to the atom or molecule that it is being projected through. So when atoms or molecules release energy, it is often in the form of light which has a specific wavelength. The wavelength, is what determines the color of the light.
So far this has been an informative mini report on spectra and why they occur, but how do they pertain to the impending holiday season? Because spectra change based on material, you can identify a material by the spectra it produces. Ever heard of Neon Lights? That`s how they get their name, because when electricity is run through a glass tube containing neon, it produces light. That light emits a spectra that is unique to neon, and is used to light up everything from Las Vegas, the corner diner, to houses at Christmas time.
Well this is the final Nerd Word of the year, but just like every major television network, we will be back in January with new and better material (but unlike them there is no annoying cliffhanger or reruns).
-Thanks for braving the offseason, Mike