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Electrons hop up between discrete energy levels when they are excited by a photon. What connects them to spectral lines is that the "hopping" of an electron from one energy level down to a lower energy level releases a photon of a certain energy level and wavelength. The energy level, and thus the wavelength, of the photon depend on what energy levels are being "hopped" between, thus making the color of the light emitted dependent on the levels the electron is moving between. The color of the light creates a spectral line when you view it. So, the energy levels that the electron is moving between create a certain spectral line.
This reminds me of the concept we were discussing in a workshop. The movement of the electron between energy levels is known as either an emission or an absorption. My question is, which kind of movement of the electron is which? Due to the conservation of energy, there will always be some kind of emission and some kind of absorption (when there is no movement the emission is zero). What scale do we look at to differentiate between the two? Do we care about the emission/absorption of the initial photon,or are we strictly speaking about the electron? Thanks
JELCI_BARRAZA_1C wrote:Question: can an energy level be negative?
The energy can be negative when we are discussing the change in energy for atomic spectra. After the electron gets excited, it goes back down to its ground state and emits energy. Therefore, it is losing energy and can be written as a negative value. However, if you are discussing a topic like wavelength, it would not make sense to have a negative answer.
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