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Question:
I am fielding this question for a seventh grade teacher in my school and will copy it verbatim from her note: "Is the movement of electrons from one energy level to another predictable in terms of how they move and in what direction and how much radiation is produced?" If anyone in Kidsphereland can an swer the question or point us in the right direction to find the answer we will much appreciate it.



Replies:
Well, it is predictable in a "statistical" sense - if we have a large sample of systems with electrons in exactly the same state, then we know pretty well what fraction of them will move from one energy level to another and give off radiation. But we do not know specifically which ones will do it. And some behavior is very predictable - if we shine light of the right frequency, it becomes much more probable that the electrons will move together - lasers work because of this kind of principle. So, some of the behavior is very predictable, and some is not.

Arthur Smith



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