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Electron shell transitions between levels - conceptual question

  • Thread starter jumbogala
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  • #1
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Homework Statement


Is the probability that an electron transitions from the N to M (n = 4 to n = 3) shell different than the electron going from L to K (n = 2 to n = 1)?

So basically, should I expect to see a lot more transitions from n = 2 to n = 1, than any other type of transition? If so, why?

Homework Equations





The Attempt at a Solution


I'm not really sure why this would be. Perhaps because you need more energy in the first place to knock electrons out of the higher levels? That's just a guess. Can anyone help me out, I'm curious if and why this is true.
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
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What's the context of these transitions? Are you talking about something like X-Ray fluorescence, wherein a high energy photon displaces an inner shell electron, followed by a cascade of electrons falling into lower energy orbitals to make up for the vacancy?

In that case, n=2 to n=1 transition is most likely and the strongest observed transition (K-alpha line), see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:XRFScan.jpg

With outershell electrons, there is also a competing effect called the Auger effect.
 

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