Glossary term: Energy Level

Description: An energy level is a discrete allowed quantum energy state within an atom or molecule. It is measured in electron volts (eV). When an electron in an atom or molecule moves from a level with higher energy to one with a lower energy this causes a photon to be emitted with an energy equal to the energy difference between the two levels. Similarly, a photon may be absorbed by an atom or molecule if its energy is the same as the energy difference between the present level and a higher level.

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Term and definition status: This term and its definition have been approved by a research astronomer and a teacher

The OAE Multilingual Glossary is a project of the IAU Office of Astronomy for Education (OAE) in collaboration with the IAU Office of Astronomy Outreach (OAO). The terms and definitions were chosen, written and reviewed by a collective effort from the OAE, the OAE Centers and Nodes, the OAE National Astronomy Education Coordinators (NAECs) and other volunteers. You can find a full list of credits here. All glossary terms and their definitions are released under a Creative Commons CC BY-4.0 license and should be credited to "IAU OAE".