Concept

Energy level

Summary
A quantum mechanical system or particle that is bound—that is, confined spatially—can only take on certain discrete values of energy, called energy levels. This contrasts with classical particles, which can have any amount of energy. The term is commonly used for the energy levels of the electrons in atoms, ions, or molecules, which are bound by the electric field of the nucleus, but can also refer to energy levels of nuclei or vibrational or rotational energy levels in molecules. The energy spectrum of a system with such discrete energy levels is said to be quantized. In chemistry and atomic physics, an electron shell, or principal energy level, may be thought of as the orbit of one or more electrons around an atom's nucleus. The closest shell to the nucleus is called the " shell" (also called "K shell"), followed by the " shell" (or "L shell"), then the " shell" (or "M shell"), and so on farther and farther from the nucleus. The shells correspond with the principal quantum number
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