Also similarly, why do electrons have less potential energy when closer to the nucleus? Please can someone help me and explain in laymen's terms? I don't understand it. I know when electrons are seperated by large distances, they are less likely to interact with the positive charge of the protons of the nucleus. Is that why there is less "potential" energy? So, there is more kinetic energy (energy due to motion) when electrons are closer to the nucleus, because the electrostatic attraction is greater?