Gaps Between Energy Levels

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Samantha Pedersen 2K
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Gaps Between Energy Levels

Postby Samantha Pedersen 2K » Mon Oct 26, 2020 3:23 pm

I understand that the gaps between energy levels get smaller as you move farther away from the nucleus. Why exactly is this the case? I'm guessing it might have to do with electrostatic potential energy and the effective nuclear charge, but I'm hoping someone can clarify this for me. Thank you!

Shanna Yu 1C
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Re: Gaps Between Energy Levels

Postby Shanna Yu 1C » Mon Oct 26, 2020 3:37 pm

Hi!

As energy levels increase, the pull that the protons at the nucleus (centre of the atom) has on the electrons within those levels decreases. It does have to do with effective nuclear charge, as you said—the farther away the electron is from the atom, the smaller effective nuclear charge it feels. This means it takes less and less energy for the electron to move further away from the nucleus and escape the atom.

Lemme know if you need clarification!


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