# What do we mean by the fact that energy levels are quantized?

Watch
Announcements
#1
Help would be really appreciated because I am slightly confused with the answers I have found online.
0
5 years ago
#2
(Original post by natalia.medicine)
Help would be really appreciated because I am slightly confused with the answers I have found online.
It just means that electrons (or any other quantum particles) can only take on certain discrete values of energy.
0
#3
(Original post by Oxazole)
It just means that electrons (or any other quantum particles) can only take on certain discrete values of energy.
Thank you very much!

Posted from TSR Mobile
0
5 years ago
#4
(Original post by Oxazole)
It just means that electrons (or any other quantum particles) can only take on certain discrete values of energy.
It's more like their energies have a distribution that has huge peaks at discrete values. If it was actually a discrete value we would not be able to see absorption lines in absorption spectra.
0
5 years ago
#5
(Original post by alow)
It's more like their energies have a distribution that has huge peaks at discrete values. If it was actually a discrete value we would not be able to see absorption lines in absorption spectra.
What do you mean by a distribution of energies? If there was a distribution there'd be no lines, the absorption spectra would be continuous…
0
5 years ago
#6
(Original post by KombatWombat)
What do you mean by a distribution of energies? If there was a distribution there'd be no lines, the absorption spectra would be continuous…
A distribution with very sharp peaks (so there is only a very small probability of a particle having an energy with more than a very small difference from the absorption line is very low). If there was no small variance in energy we would not see the lines as they would be infinitesimally narrow.
0
5 years ago
#7
(Original post by alow)
It's more like their energies have a distribution that has huge peaks at discrete values. If it was actually a discrete value we would not be able to see absorption lines in absorption spectra.
I didn't say 'a discrete value', I said 'discrete values', which is consistent with a non-continuous energy distribution.
0
5 years ago
#8
(Original post by Oxazole)
I didn't say 'a discrete value', I said 'discrete values', which is consistent with a non-continuous energy distribution.
You're misunderstanding what I said.
0
5 years ago
#9
alow is right. They have to be relative to something else (as in sharp peaks vs negligible parts) otherwise they'd be infinitely small lines?
0
5 years ago
#10
(Original post by alow)
You're misunderstanding what I said.
Are you referring to the variance of energy 'around' the discrete energies of electronic states due to different vibrational modes, rotational modes, etc?
0
5 years ago
#11
(Original post by Oxazole)
Are you referring to the variance of energy 'around' the discrete energies of electronic states due to different vibrational modes, rotational modes, etc?
Yes.
0
5 years ago
#12
(Original post by alow)
Yes.
In fairness even vibrational and rotational energy levels have a discrete distribution, it's just that the peaks appear 'smeared' on the specturm due to the large number of possible modes and limitations with the resolution of the instrument.
0
5 years ago
#13
(Original post by alow)
Yes.
Ultimately the energy levels are entirely discrete, even if there's lots of them bunched up due to rotational, vibrational states. High resolution can pick these up, and then any broadening is due to HUP/Doppler/pressure, but this doesn't mean energy levels aren't quantised, just that the energy of the emitted photons isn't quantised.
0
5 years ago
#14
It means the energy levels have discrete and not continuous values.
0
X

new posts
Back
to top
Latest
My Feed

### Oops, nobody has postedin the last few hours.

Why not re-start the conversation?

see more

### See more of what you like onThe Student Room

You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

### Poll

Join the discussion

#### Current uni students - are you thinking of dropping out of university?

Yes, I'm seriously considering dropping out (22)
18.64%
I'm not sure (2)
1.69%
No, I'm going to stick it out for now (35)
29.66%
I have already dropped out (3)
2.54%
I'm not a current university student (56)
47.46%