Glowing, Glowing, Glowing, . . . . Gone?


All kinds of things give off light in a way that is useful to us, either naturally or by design. Some objects are designed to produce bright light to work by, others have just enough of a glow to tell us where things are located in the dark. All of these glows have something in common, they are created from the changes happening to electrons in the atoms that are glowing. Light, whether it is visible, infrared, ultraviolet, or even farther afield, relates to electrons and atoms.

Even more, it relates to the changes in electron energies in atoms. As the change in an electron's energy grows, the wavelength of the emitted light becomes smaller. (The area of physics that talks about light in this way is called quantum mechanics.)


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