### Change in Energy

Posted:

**Sun Nov 04, 2018 4:07 pm**Is the change in energy in an electron still negative, even if it goes from N=1 to n=3?

Created by Dr. Laurence Lavelle

https://lavelle.chem.ucla.edu/forum/

https://lavelle.chem.ucla.edu/forum/viewtopic.php?f=27&t=35762

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Posted: **Sun Nov 04, 2018 4:07 pm**

Is the change in energy in an electron still negative, even if it goes from N=1 to n=3?

Posted: **Sun Nov 04, 2018 7:11 pm**

When you go from a higher shell to a lower one (n=3 to n=1, Lyman series), then delta E is negative. Conversely, when it is the opposite way, then delta E is positive. I think it is essential to note this difference in sign because it tells you about the excitation of the atom.

I did a practice problem figuring out the energy level it was transitioning into, and the delta E sign made all the difference.

I did a practice problem figuring out the energy level it was transitioning into, and the delta E sign made all the difference.

Posted: **Sun Nov 04, 2018 10:42 pm**

Just to add to this, I believe that when the change in energy is positive, the electron moves up in energy levels, and when the change in energy is negative, then there is a loss in energy and the electron goes to a lower energy level.

Posted: **Sun Nov 04, 2018 10:47 pm**

Think " Energy is released as you go towards the Nucleus", the change in E is negative. Also Delta E = Ef - Ei so if you are going from N=3 to N=1, Delta E= 1 - 3 = -2