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What is the conditions to excite an atom by collision?

  1. Jan 3, 2016 #1
    I know that an atom can become excited in one of two ways: by absorbing some energy from a source of electromagnetic radiation or by colliding with some other particle—another atom, for example, but my question is about the second part. So I want to know how and in what conditions (pressure, temperature ...) an atom can collide with another atom or even molecule and it causes excitation. Then after the atom's excitation, an electron boost into a higher orbital.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 3, 2016 #2
    The excitation of a system and its relation to temperature is described by the Boltzmann factor, that could have some relevance to your question.
  4. Jan 4, 2016 #3


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    Staff: Mentor

    The collision has to be energetic enough to be able to excite the atom. Look up the Franck-Hertz experiment for an example.
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