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I'm a bit confused on how electrons jump from energy level to level when excited. Can a photon excite an electron from ground state all the way to, for example, its third energy level? Or does it have to go one by one, so from the first energy level to the second and then to the third?
I think it depends on how much energy that the photon has. So if the photon transfers enough energy to the electron to equal the energy difference between for example energy level n=1 to n=3, then electrons would be able to jump multiple energy levels. Electrons jump energy levels only when there is enough energy input to reach the nest energy level. In a sense energy level in relation to energy input can be modeled using a stepwise function where until the minimum energy requirement for the next energy level is met, the energy level of the electron will not change.
Agreed with the post above. There's a minimum energy required from a photon to excite an electron to the next energy level, so if you have enough energy in the photon to meet multiple energy requirements, the electron can jump multiple energy levels with a single photon.
If the energy of the photon surpasses the energy required to excite the electron from n=1 to n=3, it would happen. However, it is important to note that an electron can't jump just short of an energy level. There is no n=2.5 or n=1.9 energy level. Either it makes the jump or it doesn't.
When an electron is excited it jumps from energy level to energy level through an energy gain, which could be an increase in the heat which stimulates the excitement or it could have just collided with another electron.
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