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Do the electrons spend energy, and where that energy goes?

  1. Feb 10, 2008 #1
    do the electrons "spend" energy, and where that energy goes?

    do the electrons "spend" energy, and where
    that energy goes?
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 10, 2008 #2


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    Gold Member

    What do you mean by 'spend' ? Use ? Require ?
    What are these electrons doing ? Electrons are put in motion by electric fields, and take potential energy from the field which becomes kinetic energy.
  4. Feb 10, 2008 #3
    When they lose energy it goes into photons (light).
    Check out Brehmstralung.


    But in the absence of something to slow it, theres no reason for it to use/spend energy.
  5. Feb 10, 2008 #4
    I mean when they move through their orbitals, do they spend energy?
  6. Feb 10, 2008 #5


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    Gold Member

    Well, we do mostly believe that each orbital corresponds to a particular energy level, so I'd imagine that would mean they don't spend energy.
  7. Feb 10, 2008 #6


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    Staff: Mentor

    As the Earth moves around the sun, does it spend energy? :smile:

    Then there's the question of whether an electron in an atomic orbital is "moving" in the classical sense... but that belongs in the Quantum Physics forum.
  8. Feb 13, 2008 #7
    So it is like I through a ball, and it will have just kinteic energy, right?
  9. Feb 13, 2008 #8


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    No - as far as i know.
    The electrons do not move around the nucleus as the earth moves around the sun.
    The electrons are described by a wave function which related to the probability of finding the electrons in any location around the nucleus, the electron is not "there" , the constant probability of finding the electron there is "there" and it's spread around the nucleus.
    When charge particles accelerate they emit energy as electromagnetic radiation, if the electron was moving around the nucleus as the earth moves around the sun it would emit all its energy.
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