Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Energy levels Question

  1. Jan 14, 2006 #1

    a) an atoms electron is in the ground state (4.11*10^ -17). An electron with ke 5*10^-17 collides with the atom, what happens to the energy.

    b) What could subsequently happen to the electrons in the higher energy levels

    help plz
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 14, 2006 #2
    can anyone help ?
  4. Jan 14, 2006 #3


    User Avatar
    Homework Helper

    You mean the atom's electron is in the ground state, with E = - 4.11E-17 J
    Stable situations usually have negative Total Energy ...

    What happens if the stray electron collides with the atom's electron?
    How much Energy would that "ground state" electron have then?
    How far from the atom would it get before it runs out of KE?
  5. Jan 15, 2006 #4
    Yes energy = - 4.11E-17 J

    my mistake lol

    I think the answer is that the atom gets ionised and the remaining enegry becomes the KE of the free electron.

    but im confused as to the words 'what happens to the ENERGY' (is it just absorbed by the electron in the ground state and the rest goes to KE)

    and part b) i think it is the electrons drop down energy levels emmiting light - photons with discrete frequencies hence discrete wavelengths.

    but the questions says 'subsequently' , so im not sure if its right or is its just there to put you off.
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2006
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook