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#1
Old 09-22-2009, 01:54 PM
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How many energy levels does the Oxygen atom have?

Just wondering. I am trying to understand the following. I recently came across a device which uses High voltage fields and photon energy to excite the oxygen atom until it becomes ionized?

How many levels does the oxygen atom have, and what eV does it takes to get to each level. I know the first 2 levels are .98eV, and 1.63eV, what are the rest?
#2
Old 09-22-2009, 02:17 PM
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Energy levels and ionization are not the same thing. Energy levels tell you how much energy you need to move an electron into a higher, bound energy state. Ionization tells you how much energy you need to strip an electron away from an atom.
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Old 09-22-2009, 05:24 PM
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I understand that part. I'm just trying to find out how many excited states oxygen has, and what energy levels it takes to get to each state.
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Old 09-22-2009, 06:01 PM
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I would be extremely surprised if the number of states were finite. Certainly, a hydrogen atom has an infinite number of states, and I would expect all atoms to be at least qualitatively similar.
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Old 09-22-2009, 06:12 PM
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On the flip side, energy levels after the second are pretty much irrelevant, as those aren't stable for an oxygen atom. If an electron absorbs enough energy to get above the second level but not enough to escape, it will drop back down to an open orbital in the first or second level & radiate one or more photons to carry away that extra energy. But I don't know of any theoretical principle limiting the number of discrete levels--they'll just get very, very close together very quickly.
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#6
Old 09-22-2009, 06:37 PM
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I would imagine the the ionization energy is the limiting factor. Reach that and the electron can never de-excite.
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Old 09-22-2009, 07:20 PM
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I would imagine the the ionization energy is the limiting factor. Reach that and the electron can never de-excite.
Well, yes, but that doesn't imply that there are a finite number of levels. The energies just get progressively closer together before that point.
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Old 09-22-2009, 10:53 PM
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If this seems a hijack I am sorry but isn't it true that this world is nothing but energy bound into different states and that we use mathematics and words such as "particle" and "atom" just so we talk about such things?
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Old 09-24-2009, 06:05 PM
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Ok, Thanks everyone for the answers.

I'm trying to understand the energy levels of the oxygen atom and what wavelengths get the atom to those energy levels. I know the first level is .98eV, and the second is 1.63eV.

Now, what i would like to know is how many energy levels the oxygen atom has before it becomes ionized, which is 13.61eV. And what eV it takes to get to each level.

Can anyone tell me?

Where could I find the information?

Last edited by HMS7762; 09-24-2009 at 06:06 PM.
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Old 09-24-2009, 06:24 PM
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There is a lot of atomic spectroscopy info here, which lists the energy levels of the oxygen atom (in wavenumbers - easily converted via the web).

The first two levels do not seem to match your numbers of .98 and 1.63eV, I don't know where that divergence is coming from - it's been a while since I wrote down a term symbol

Last edited by Busy Scissors; 09-24-2009 at 06:25 PM.
#11
Old 09-24-2009, 08:54 PM
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I think the OP is confused... 13.6 eV is the ionization energy for hydrogen, not oxygen, and there's no such thing as "energy to get to the first energy level", since that's where it would be without any energy input.
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Old 09-25-2009, 01:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HMS7762 View Post
I'm trying to understand the energy levels of the oxygen atom and what wavelengths get the atom to those energy levels. I know the first level is .98eV, and the second is 1.63eV.

Now, what i would like to know is how many energy levels the oxygen atom has before it becomes ionized, which is 13.61eV. And what eV it takes to get to each level.

Can anyone tell me?

Where could I find the information?
You've already been told and you're using wrong terminology.

"13.16eV" is how much "energy", not how many "energy levels." "My house is 50m tall" is not the same as "my house has 50 energy levels."


The energy levels (actually, states) of any atom are infinite.

Therefore, the energy differentials between those states are also infinite.

The energy needed to reach the first level is zero. That level is the reference for all the rest.

The energy map of an atom in the N excited level isn't the same as for that atom in the base level.

The energy states keep getting closer and closer as you approach the point where that atom becomes "something else:" in your example, ionized oxygen. You have the same phenomenon when looking at any reactions, be they between molecules, atoms, ions or radicals.

As for where you can find the information, hie thee to the nearest university with a large Physics department and speak with the reference librarian. He'll be a lot more up-to-date on physics textbooks than about anybody here.

Last edited by Nava; 09-25-2009 at 01:25 AM.
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Old 09-25-2009, 02:50 AM
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Originally Posted by Chronos View Post
I think the OP is confused... 13.6 eV is the ionization energy for hydrogen, not oxygen, and there's no such thing as "energy to get to the first energy level", since that's where it would be without any energy input.
13.6 is the ionisation energy for both of them, actually. H and O have very similar IEs. By 'energy to get to the first energy level' I think it's fair to assume that he means 'energy to get to the first energy level above the ground state' - the first electronically excited state.
#14
Old 09-25-2009, 05:25 PM
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Ok, I know my terminlogy is slightly off. I'm still learning this stuff and am quite new to physics and chemistry. I'm trying to understand, as I have been shown that an atom's electron orbits can be referred to either n (n=1,2,3,4,5) or letters K,L,M,N,O. I'm just trying to understand what wavelength is required to get to each energy level, until the atom becomes ionized.
#15
Old 09-26-2009, 10:07 PM
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Lambda=hc/E

If you know the ionization energy you now know the maximum wavelength needed.
If you know the delta between energy levels then you know the needed incident wavelength to move from N-1 to N
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