Investigate how atoms can be excited to give off radiation (photons) with models of electron energy diagrams. Explore the effects of energy levels in atoms through interactive computer models. Learn about the different electron orbitals of an atom, and explore three-dimensional models of the atoms. Learn about photons and why they are emitted, and gain an understanding of the link between energy levels and photons as you discover how an atom’s electron configuration affects which wavelengths of light it will admit or absorb.
Students will be able to:
- Determine that atoms have different energy levels and store energy when they go from a ground state to an excited state
- Discover that different atoms require different amounts of energy to be excited
- Explain that excited atoms give up energy in collisions
- Explore the way atoms absorb and emit light of particular colors in the form of photons (“wave packets of energy“)
- Determine that atoms interact with photons if the photons’ energy is equal to the difference between the atom’s excited and ground state
The download for this activity will require 5 MB of disk space.