Energy LevelsSurrounding a cell nucleus of one atom are energy levels the the electrons occupy. An electron need to reside in among these levels, not in between them. They begin filling the lowest power levels first, those closest to the nucleus, and also continue far from the nucleus filling higher energy levels. Us often show these power levels as concentric circles roughly the cell core of one atom. This is no a depiction of the physical ar of the electrons in the atom. It represents the average energy of the electrons in a offered level.When every one of the electrons are in the lowest state feasible we say that the atom is in its floor state. When they are not in the lowest feasible energy level, we say the atom is in one excited state.
You are watching: What happens when electrons return to their ground state
Absorption and EmissionAn atom alters from a ground state come an excited state by acquisition on power from its surroundings in a process called absorption. The electron absorbs the energy and also jumps come a higher energy level. In the reverse process, emission, the electron return to the ground state by release the extra power it absorbed.
Recall the the electrons need to occupy one of the energy levels. To cause a change between the levels calls for an quantity of power exactly equal to the power difference between the two levels. This has a profound result on the absorption and also emission spectra of one element. Because the atom deserve to only absorb details amounts the energy, only details wavelengths of light will be absorbed. Note the 2 dark lines in the top part of the number below. White light to be shined top top a gaseous sample the atoms. The atom only took in at the two wavelengths (the two dark lines at about 590 nm) since this coincided to the difference between two energy levels. The an outcome of this absorption to be an atom in one excited state.
The excited state atom at some point returns come the soil state. That does this by create radiation. The spectrum of the emitted irradiate is displayed in the bottom portion of the figure.
See more: What Is The Specific Heat Of Water In Joules Per Kilogram Kelvin
Note two bright lines appear at precisely the same wavelength as the light the was absorbed.The most studied atom is the hydrogen atom.