## Positive & Negative Signs on Energy Levels

H-Atom ($E_{n}=-\frac{hR}{n^{2}}$)

Mulin_Li_2J
Posts: 105
Joined: Sat Aug 17, 2019 12:16 am

### Positive & Negative Signs on Energy Levels

Hi,

I am a bit confused with plus/minus signs relative to a energy level. Does the negative sign on each energy level mean that the electron has the tendency to lose energy or gain energy?

Justin Sarquiz 2F
Posts: 106
Joined: Fri Aug 30, 2019 12:15 am

### Re: Positive & Negative Signs on Energy Levels

The equation for energy levels is E=-hR/n^2. The negative sign is due to the fact that we call zero energy at the energy level of infinity. This equation tells us that the more energy levels, the higher the energy because the smaller the negative. The less energy levels, then the lower the energy because thenegative is larger. When we move up an energy level, we do Efinal(larger number) -Einitial(smaller number) to calculate the change in energy. We get a positive answer, which means that energy is absorbed. When we move down energy levels, we still do Efinal(smaller number)-Einitial (larger number) and get a negative energy, which means that energy is emitted.

Nawal Dandachi 1G
Posts: 102
Joined: Sat Sep 28, 2019 12:16 am

### Re: Positive & Negative Signs on Energy Levels

The negative sign of energy just means that the electron of that atom has a lower energy than the free electron which is zero energy.