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Whats the difference in glass electrons, and solid irons

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  1. Jan 15, 2016 #1
    electrons in terms of absorption.
    To move from a lower to a higher energy level, an electron must gain energy. Oppositely, to move from a higher to a lower energy level, an electron must give up energy. In either case, the electron can only gain or release energy in discrete bundles.

    Now let's consider a photon moving toward and interacting with a solid substance. One of three things can happen:

    1. The substance absorbs the photon. This occurs when the photon gives up its energy to an electron located in the material. Armed with this extra energy, the electron is able to move to a higher energy level, while the photon disappears.
    2. The substance reflects the photon. To do this, the photon gives up its energy to the material, but a photon of identical energy is emitted.
    3. The substance allows the photon to pass through unchanged. Known as transmission, this happens because the photon doesn't interact with any electron and continues its journey until it interacts with another object.
    Glass, of course, falls into this last category. Photons pass through the material because they don't have sufficient energy to excite a glass electron to a higher energy level. Physicists sometimes talk about this in terms of band theory, which says energy levels exist together in regions known as energy bands. In between these bands are regions, known as band gaps, where energy levels for electrons don't exist at all.

    Some materials have larger band gaps than others.

    Glass is one of those materials, which means its electrons require much more energy before they can skip from one energy band to another and back again. Photons of visible light -- light with wavelengths of 400 to 700 nanometers, corresponding to the colors violet, indigo, blue, green, yellow, orange and red -- simply don't have enough energy to cause this skipping.

    Consequently, photons of visible light travel through glass instead of being absorbed or reflected, making glass transparent.

    At wavelengths smaller than visible light, photons begin to have enough energy to move glass electrons from one energy band to another. For example, ultraviolet light, which has a wavelength ranging from 10 to 400 nanometers, can't pass through most oxide glasses, such as the glass in a window pane. This makes a window, including the window in our hypothetical house under construction, as opaque to ultraviolet light as wood is to visible light.


    If an electron is in the first energy level, it must have exactly -13.6 eV of energy. If it is in the second energy level, it must have -3.4 eV of energy.

    Let's say the electron wants to jump from the first energy level, n = 1, to the second energy level n = 2. The second energy level has higher energy than the first, so to move from n = 1 to n = 2, the electron needs to gain energy. It needs to gain (-3.4) - (-13.6) = 10.2 eV of energy to make it up to the second energy level.

    So here's the question, If an electron is in the first energy level, it must have exactly -13.6 eV of energy. If it is in the second energy level, it must have -3.4 eV of energy.
    Let's say the electron wants to jump from the first energy level, n = 1, to the second energy level n = 2. The second energy level has higher energy than the first, so to move from n = 1 to n = 2, the electron needs to gain energy. It needs to gain (-3.4) - (-13.6) = 10.2 eV of energy to make it up to the second energy level.
    If it takes 10 eV to move the electron in shell 2 , in the glass, and the iron block, then why does the glass electron not get excited when hit by a photon.
    Why is the iron electron absorbing.
    What makes a four inch cubed block of glass different to a four inch cubed block of opaque solid iron, what is the difference in the glass, and irons electrons, why is the glass block allowing transmission, and the iron block absorbing.
    Is it the amount of electrons in the shells in the iron, or is it the electrons in the glass need more eV compared to the irons electrons.
    What I am trying to do is find all the ways the electron in the atom can not be excited, by light, or any type of EM radiation, or another way to look at it is, how the electron can be kept in the ground state shell 1 the "1 shell" (also called "K shell"), and not get excited to shell 2.
    https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/?ui=2&ik=1a702d60a0&view=fimg&th=15247bba1386a248&attid=0.2&disp=emb&realattid=ii_15247bad4c5acd4e&attbid=ANGjdJ_gB_S7X_IC6st087aolohQiGHeOtNC_3il-P0E4z3F-CUQOQR_q43rRRsTIDqe_YlK2AlLrjWiYTkFRSctQkU5Znv7P5E6sZNIDv5Yz6cBpDC4rbnb5uu7Avs&sz=w746-h320&ats=1452905705409&rm=15247bba1386a248&zw&atsh=1
    Thank you for your help.
     
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  3. Jan 15, 2016 #2

    BvU

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    This is correct for hydrogen atoms. For glass (mainly SiO2) the situation is different....
    Note that 10 eV is in the ultraviolet, not in the visible spectrum... And H does have an absorption line (Lyman α) there.
    The latter.
    Also: the iron reflects a lot of light !
     
  4. Jan 15, 2016 #3

    ZapperZ

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    You are also being extremely confusing here. You appear to acknowledge the existence of bands in solids, but then you start dealing with the hydrogen energy LEVELS, which most certainly NOT energy bands. I don't think you know what they are.

    When atoms conglomerate to form a solid, they lose a lot of their individuality, especially the low energy scale. That is why they form a lot of properties that are NOT present in individual atoms, such as the phonon modes that can significantly effect optical properties.

    I suggest you look at a technique known as UV-VIS and discover for yourself what quantitative optical measurement that we can get out of such transmission and reflection properties (I.e. The phonon spectrum).

    Zz.
     
  5. Jan 17, 2016 #4
    Or you could start looking at molecules, for example the energy levels of the H2 molecule. Then think about the energy levels of electrons in lithium clusters with increasing numbers of atoms. This leads to the tight-binding approximation of solids.
     
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