Energy levels

paulacamara1E
Posts: 30
Joined: Fri Apr 06, 2018 11:05 am

Energy levels

When discussing atomic spectra and energy levels why is the gap between n1 and n2 the biggest?

Gianna Graziano 1A
Posts: 36
Joined: Wed Apr 04, 2018 3:00 am

Re: Energy levels

Hi Paula,
The gap between the first two energy levels, n1 and n2, is the largest because these two values have the largest difference between the excited and ground state. For example, a drop from n2 to n1 has ALOT more energy than a drop from n4 to n1. Energy levels are also closer together as you move up, from 1 to 7. In a H atom the levels are given by 13.6 eV / n^2, if you do the math for various energy levels you will see the differences between them.

AnnaYan_1l
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Re: Energy levels

Why does a drop from n2 to n1 have more energy than a drop from n4 to n1?

I thought I heard Professor Lavelle say on Monday, when answering someone's question that, a drop from n3 to n1 and then n2 to n1 emits 2 photons but has the same energy as a drop from n3 to n1? In this way, why wouldn't a drop from n4 to n1 have more energy than a drop from n2 to n1? (energy from a drop from n4 to n2 plus n2 to n1) I may have misheard Professor Lavelle, so I would love to have some clarification on this. Thank you!

Nina_A_Section1E
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Joined: Fri Apr 06, 2018 11:01 am
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Re: Energy levels

As the energy levels increase, the distance between them decreases, so dropping from energy level 2 to 1 is falling the biggest distance, and therefore emitting the most energy.

If an e- drops from energy level 3 to 2, and then 2 to 1, at separate points in time, it will emit 2 photos, but the sum of the energies of those 2 photons will equal the energy released in the 1 photon emitted when an e- drops from energy level 3 to 1 in a single moment.

Bianca Nguyen 1B
Posts: 36
Joined: Fri Apr 06, 2018 11:04 am

Re: Energy levels

I get that dropping from energy level n=2 to n=1 has the biggest energy difference, but why, as someone stated, does a drop from n=2 to n=1 have more energy than a drop from n=4 to n=1?

Chem_Mod
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Re: Energy levels

no. n4 to n1 has a bigger energy drop than n2 to n1. I think you misheard Dr. Lavelle as he was comparing n4 to n3 vs. n2 to n1.

Moris 1H
Posts: 33
Joined: Fri Apr 06, 2018 11:01 am

Re: Energy levels

N4 to n1 must have a bigger drop

Elijah E 1C
Posts: 15
Joined: Fri Apr 06, 2018 11:02 am

Re: Energy levels

Try to think about it like a ladder where the size between steps gets closer the higher you go. If N1 is the ground and N2 is the first ladder step, N1 to N2 is the biggest individual step size. However, jumping off of the figurative ladder from say N4 to N1 would be higher (more energy) than simply jumping off from N2 to N1.