How to increase the energy of an electron

  • #1
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Main Question or Discussion Point

Hello,

in class we learned about the hydrogen atom and in particular the quantum states describing the electron in hydrogen atom (we denoted them as usual by 1s, 2s, 2p etc.). Whenever we talked about state transitions of the electron, like transition from 1s to 2p state, we imagined an electron absorbing a photon (carrying the necessary amount energy.) Similarly, in order to lose energy, we imagined an electron emitting a photon.

I am wondering if this is the only way to raise or lower the energy of an electron? I would expect that there are many different ways. But maybe the photon situation is the most probable one. It would be great if someone could tell explain how it works...
 

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  • #2
ZapperZ
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Hello,

in class we learned about the hydrogen atom and in particular the quantum states describing the electron in hydrogen atom (we denoted them as usual by 1s, 2s, 2p etc.). Whenever we talked about state transitions of the electron, like transition from 1s to 2p state, we imagined an electron absorbing a photon (carrying the necessary amount energy.) Similarly, in order to lose energy, we imagined an electron emitting a photon.

I am wondering if this is the only way to raise or lower the energy of an electron? I would expect that there are many different ways. But maybe the photon situation is the most probable one. It would be great if someone could tell explain how it works...
In a discharge tube, gasses are excited via the bombardment of these gas molecules with energetic electrons that came out of a heated cathode. This is how you get light from your fluorescent light bulbs.

BTW, just to make sure you get the term accurately, you are not raising or lowering the energy of an electron. Rather, you are raising or lowering the energy of the atom or molecule as a whole. The energy levels that you stated is the energy level of the ATOM. It just that it happens to be occupied by one or more electrons, and the signature of the atom having a higher energy level is indicated by an electron being promoted to that level. But the "thing" that became more energetic is the whole atom, not just that particular electron.

Zz.
 
  • #3
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Thank you very much!
 

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