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Examples of the use of the term:

When I hear of a resonant state I think of a free particle incident on a potential where it spends a lot of time then leaves, but the electrons responsible for these lines (HeI 584 Å, HeII 304 Å) start in bound states below their binding energy and are just transitions from one bound state to another.

Since most emission lines from atomic transitions are not called resonance lines:

  1. Why are these lines different?
  2. What is particularly resonant about them?
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  • $\begingroup$ Perhaps you'd get the kind of answer you're looking for on HSM. My guess is that the name is due to historical reasons. Spectroscopy was finding & cataloging lines for about a century before there was a solid theory for how lines occur. But in the mean time, there was some ad-hoc theory. I assume resonance lines got that name because it was assumed that they correspond to the primary vibration produced by some kind of resonance process. $\endgroup$ – PM 2Ring May 4 at 1:34
  • $\begingroup$ @PM2Ring well let's wait and see, perhaps someone will know why astronomers do it this way. If not, maybe we can close and migrate if nobody here actually knows the answer. $\endgroup$ – uhoh May 4 at 1:47

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