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Schroedinger's energy levels - potential wells

  1. Apr 2, 2012 #1
    maybe this question has more to do with chemistry, but it's physical chemistry at the very least.

    so, in physics class we have been learning about schroedingers equations for the H atom electron energy levels, and discussing bound electrons in a potential well. for these electrons to move up an energy level they must be given a certain amount of energy, and each level the electron moves up, behaves like a standing wave with certain harmonics. at least this is how we think about them at my level of physics. so these electrons must be given an amount of energy greater than or equal to the electrical potential of the nucleus to be 'free' or unbound. so how does this apply to metals? metals have a certain number of bound electrons, but also have some 'free' electrons, so they exist as cations. i understand the kind of answer i get about this from my chemistry teachers, but i'd really like to know how the 2 ideas of energy levels, and metallic bonding link together.

    thanks in advance for any help you can give.
  2. jcsd
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