A single line in the emission spectrum.
Has been the leading motivation of the development of quantum mechanics, all the way from the:
- Schrödinger equation: major lines predicted, including Zeeman effect, but not finer line splits like fine structure
- Dirac equation: explains fine structure 2p spin split due to electron spin/orbit interactions, but not Lamb shift
- quantum electrodynamics: explains Lamb shift
- hyperfine structure: due to electron/nucleus spin interactions, offers a window into nuclear spin