why do electrons in a higher energy level have more energy

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WWEKANE
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#1
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I don't understand why electrons have more energy if they are at a higher energy level
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anosmianAcrimony
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If an electron in a higher energy level gets a chance, it will release energy in the form of a photon and drop down to a lower energy level. Conversely it requires an input of energy to raise an electron from a lower energy level to a higher one.
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mehhh1234
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electrons are attracted to the nucleus and so to get further from the nucleus the electrons should have higher energy.

Another way to explain is that electron's further from the nucleus are held more weakly by the nucleus, and so can be removed by spending less energy. Hence we say they have higher energy.

(BTW higher energy is kinetic energy)
Last edited by mehhh1234; 2 years ago
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lilitpogossian
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(Original post by WWEKANE)
I don't understand why electrons have more energy if they are at a higher energy level
Electrons can't move to a higher energy level without gaining energy. Electrons move to a higher level either by gaining energy through heat or by collisions with other electrons (excitation), but this is crossing into physics territory and I see this is under chemistry lol.

I also think it has something to do with electrons in higher levels being further away from the nucleus so therefore needing more energy for... something? But honestly don't know where to go with that. Someone else needs to take over lool
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WWEKANE
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thanks for all your help. so when explaining why mg has a higher ionisation energy then aluminium i know it's due to the p orbital at a higher energy level

so a simple way to explain it is it's at a higher energy level as it's electron in p requires more energy to be further away from the nucleus ( is this to reduce attraction)

but if this is the case why does si which has a 3p orbital aswell have a higher ionisation energy then mg?
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jimjinjim
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The change in energy levels is minute and outweighed by the increase in nuclear charge (increase of two protons), the electrons added are all on the same principal energy level, so the effects of increased distance to nucleus and extra shielding is outweighed by the increased nuclear charge. so there is greater electrostatic attraction in between the nucleus and valence electron in Si than Mg.
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scimus63
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The electrons in higher energy levels have more potential energy, simple as that!
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