Energy Levels


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David Jen 1J
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Energy Levels

Postby David Jen 1J » Fri Oct 16, 2020 8:05 pm

In equations such as E=hR/n^2, Dr. Lavelle explains n as energy levels. However, I don't really understand what energy levels are. Could someone explain it?

Yu Jin Kwon 3L
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Re: Energy Levels

Postby Yu Jin Kwon 3L » Fri Oct 16, 2020 9:22 pm

Hi David!

Energy levels are the different electron shells an atom has, and when the electron gets excited by an incoming light/photon (and the energy of the photon matches the difference between an n-level and ground state for the electron, then the electron moves up the energy levels to the respective energy level! The important thing to note is that when the electrons get excited and move up the energy levels, it absorbs the incoming light's energy. Then, as the excited electron goes back down, it emits that same energy.
I wish I knew how to add images directly into this reply, but here's a link to a nice website and the first photo you see shows an atom and its electron shells/energy levels: https://asoefkersaachemistry.weebly.com/energy-levels-of-atoms.html

Hope this helps!

Kristina Krivenko 3I
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Re: Energy Levels

Postby Kristina Krivenko 3I » Fri Oct 16, 2020 9:25 pm

To put it in simple words, an energy level is a level on which an electron resides.

However, in reality, it's more complicated than that; since electrons are so small, it's difficult to determine where they are at a given time, and they also don't stay in one "spot" but rather constantly move around. Therefore, energy levels are fixed distances from the nucleus where an electron can be found.

They're also called atomic orbitals, and an orbital is a three dimensional description of where an electron is most likely to be found around the atom.

Hope this helps :)

Chesca Legaspi 2E
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Re: Energy Levels

Postby Chesca Legaspi 2E » Sat Oct 17, 2020 12:23 am

Can electrons jump up multiple energy levels at once or do they have to reach a certain stage before they can reach the next energy level afterwards? For example, if an electron was at energy level n = 1, could it jump up to n = 4, or would it have to pass/stop(?) through energy levels n = 2 and n = 3 first?

David Jen 1J
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Re: Energy Levels

Postby David Jen 1J » Sat Oct 17, 2020 2:21 am

Hey Chesca, electrons don't technically jump/skip levels, they just have enough energy to go all the way to N=4. That means they'd have to have enough energy to make it through n=2 and n=3 before it could make it to n=4

Margaret Xu 3C
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Re: Energy Levels

Postby Margaret Xu 3C » Sat Oct 17, 2020 2:27 am

Chesca Legaspi 2F wrote:Can electrons jump up multiple energy levels at once or do they have to reach a certain stage before they can reach the next energy level afterwards? For example, if an electron was at energy level n = 1, could it jump up to n = 4, or would it have to pass/stop(?) through energy levels n = 2 and n = 3 first?


Hey Chesca, great question! I believe that if an electron is excited enough, it can jump multiple levels at once without having to stop at the level preceding it. I think the electron would inevitably pass the lower levels though; for example, if the electron jumps from n = 1 to n = 4, it has to go past n = 2 and n = 3.

DominicMalilay 1F
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Re: Energy Levels

Postby DominicMalilay 1F » Sat Oct 17, 2020 8:02 am

Yes, to add on to Margaret's point, the electrons' whereabouts can be thought of as in s,p,d, and f orbitals, but do not take this like they are in one spot in the orbital. Electrons are constantly moving around in their respective energy levels and Heisenberg's uncertainty principle complicates this situation even more.

jessicaosuna_1F
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Re: Energy Levels

Postby jessicaosuna_1F » Sat Oct 17, 2020 3:46 pm

Energy levels refer to set distances from an atom's nucleus. Electrons occupy these levels and can jump from level to level, but do not occupy the space between. To jump from a lower energy level to a higher one by absorbing energy and becoming excited.

Chudi Onyedika 3A
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Re: Energy Levels

Postby Chudi Onyedika 3A » Sat Oct 17, 2020 10:20 pm

Energy level is dependent on an electron's placement outside of the nucleus. It is based on the distance of the electron orbital from the nucleus of an atom. The higher the energy level, the more distance the electron orbital is.

Mari Williams 1K
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Re: Energy Levels

Postby Mari Williams 1K » Sun Oct 18, 2020 2:31 pm

Electron levels are helpful in visualizing the concept that their energy is measured discretely, not continuously. There are "steps" of energy levels, and the energy level they fall from corresponds to the energy released.

Yichen Fan 3A
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Re: Energy Levels

Postby Yichen Fan 3A » Sun Oct 18, 2020 2:49 pm

I am still confused by electron skipping energy levels. To put in the context of orbital, if an electron is excited from level 1 to level 4, does it travels through p and d orbital and finally enter the f orbital, or it goes straight from s orbital to f orbital.

David Liu 1E
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Re: Energy Levels

Postby David Liu 1E » Sun Oct 18, 2020 3:31 pm

I think that the levels are more of a concept to help us understand electrons, and as previous posts above have stated with the uncertainty principle, electrons probably travel without stopping to levels as they "jump", as an electron is only in one space for a split second. There's probably a fraction of the second where the electron is in the first level and a second later, or less it's in the 4th level


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