I am trying to get a better understanding of what it means for an atom to vibrate. Let's say there is a chunk of iron in deep space that starts out with a temperature of 50 degrees celsius and is rapidly losing thermal energy. I will make the following assumptions: 1. The iron has thermal energy because atoms in the solid are wiggling and bumping into each other which results with electrons in a higher energy state. (is wiggling and bumping correct? is there a lot more to the "vibrating") 2. As electrons return to a lower energy state photons are emitted and the iron loses energy. 3. Almost all of the electrons in the iron atoms have returned to their lowest possible energy level and the temperature of the iron chunk is near absolute zero. Thank you for any contributions you may have.