# Excited atom decaying to ground state

• Cataklyzm
In summary, the question asks what color of light would be emitted if an atom decays to an intermediate state instead of its ground state. Based on the energy gap between levels, the emitted light would have a lower frequency, possibly in the yellow or orange range. This is because the change in energy is proportional to the frequency, and a smaller change in energy results in a lower frequency photon. This is different from the original scenario where the atom decays to its ground state and emits green light.
Cataklyzm
Hello.
I'm trying to grasp this concept. The question states:
An excited atom decays to its ground state and emits a photon of green light. If instead the atom decays to an intermediate state, what color of light might be emitted?

I have the electromagnetic spectrum with the visible lights broken down.
Am I supposed to understand that an atom decaying to an intermediate state wouldn't use as much energy as an atom decaying to ground state?
Something like E = hf. So because of the decrease in energy, there is an increase in frequency, so the emitted light might be Blue or Violet, which have higher frequencies than green?

Am I on the right track?

Thanks,

Cataklyzm

Nope, if it decays into an intermediate state, then the energy gap b/w the levels will be smaller, hence the frequency of the radiated photon.

Daniel.

Ohh okay.
So the CHANGE in energy between the excited state and intermediate state is smaller than the change in energy between the excited state and the ground state.

So the equation: Change in energy = h * f provides:
A smaller change in energy creates a higher frequency photon.
Violet and blue have higher frequencies than green.
Therefore, the emitted light would be violet or blue.

Thank you.

No way, if the energy is smaller, then the frequency would be smaller, since they are directly proportional. So i'd say rather yellow or orange.

Daniel.

Ohhhh.. okay.
I don't know how I didn't see that.
Becuase h is Planck's constant, difference in energy is proportional to frequency.. so it would be a lower frequency photon.. like red or orange..
Got it..
=)
Thanks

## 1. What is an excited atom?

An excited atom is an atom that has absorbed energy and has moved to a higher energy level or orbital. This energy can come from various sources such as light, heat, or collisions with other particles.

## 2. How does an excited atom decay to the ground state?

An excited atom decays to the ground state by releasing the absorbed energy in the form of photons. This process is known as spontaneous emission. The emitted photons have a specific energy corresponding to the energy difference between the excited state and the ground state of the atom.

## 3. What factors determine the rate of decay for an excited atom?

The rate of decay for an excited atom is determined by the energy gap between the excited state and the ground state. A larger energy gap results in a faster decay rate. Other factors such as the temperature and external influences can also affect the decay rate.

## 4. Can an excited atom decay to a different energy state other than the ground state?

Yes, an excited atom can decay to a different energy state other than the ground state. This is known as non-radiative decay, where the energy is released in the form of heat or through collisions with other particles.

## 5. What are some applications of excited atom decay?

The process of excited atom decay has various applications in different fields. In physics, it is used in quantum mechanics to study the behavior of atoms and subatomic particles. In chemistry, it is utilized in spectroscopy to identify the chemical composition of substances. In technology, it is used in devices such as lasers, LEDs, and fluorescent lights.

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