|MadSci Network: Physics|
When an electron bound to an atom absorbs or loses energy, it moves to a higher or lower energy level. Is this movement between energy levels instantaneous or does it take a finite amount of time to complete the transfer ? My understanding is that electrons can only exist in discrete energy levels and not inbetween levels. So what happens to the electron at the moment of energy gain ? Does it simply vanish from the energy level it occupied and immediately re-appear in another energy level or does it take a finite amount of time to make the transfer ? When an electron in atomic orbit absorbs (gains) energy from a photon, how does the electron physically utilize this additional energy. Obviously the electron is a fundamental particle and will not change mass,charge,spin, etc ... so what REALY does change from the electrons point of view ? I'm not referring to an energy level change which is the result of energy gain or loss ... I'm more interested in the physical processes that occur to the electron which eventually result in a level change. Is the exact mechanism understood by which a photon is created when an electron drops to a lower energy level ? How is the required exact energy extracted from the electron ? What mechanism extracts the energy from the electron and what mechanism creates the photon ? When is the photon created - before the electron leaves the original level - whilst the electron is between levels - or when the electron appears in the new energy level? How long does it take to create the photon - is it instantaneous or does it take a finite time ? Does the photon appear "complete" or does it have to be constructed, so to speak. How close is the photon to the electron when it's created ?
Re: questions about electrons and photons
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