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Q & A: source of electron's energy

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Most recent answer: 11/18/2014
Q:
Why do electron move? why not atom just stop? Where does the energy/force came from for its revolving aren't there any obstacles and hurdles for electron to stop? Answer in simple words I just passed grade 10. this was present I search the internet and asked peoples but no clear answer. help
- Qazi Muhammad Osama (age 16)
Peshawar. kpk. Pakistan
A:

Your question raises several points. The atom doesn't need to get any new energy because energy is conserved. Things just keep moving unless there's some way to lose energy to something else. 

A big thing like a planet orbiting the Sun can lose energy very slowly as heat, going to warm up the planet (via tides). For an atom, there aren't a whole lot of little parts inside where energy can flow into heating the parts. In that sense, there are no  "obstacles or hurdles" that slow down motion in the atom. If an atom has more energy than its state with lowest possible energy, the only place the energy can go is into photons (light waves) leaving the atom. That does happen quickly, leaving the atom in that low-energy state. We discuss why that state has motion in several other answers. ()

Mike W.


(published on 11/18/2014)

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