EM Waves 01



LET'S CLEAN UP!!! Please salvage rubber bands, paper clips, bouncy balls and other items that I can use again in the future!


Let's take a few moments to digest... what do you know about the effects of THE BIG ONE on Gig Harbor now, that you didn't know before the lab....


Watch this... just, well, because

1) Sketch a neutral hydrogen atom

2) Now talk with your group and suggest a relationship between atoms and electromagnetic waves


LEARNING TARGET: I will be able to model how photons are created during today's class.


  • photon (a wave AND a particle of light)
  • electromagnetic waves
  • energy levels
  • excited (electron) = ("electrons 'jolted' into a higher energy level")
  • ground state (electron) = ("electrons existing on the lowest energy level")



Now let's look at your sketch of a neutral hydrogen (that means protons are in balance with electrons) atom. Hopefully you came up with a sketch that looks like this:

That is actually a VERY simplified model of a hydrogen atom....have a conversation with your group about what that's so antiquated.


Now let's take a gander at a much more modern model of the electron orbitals for the innermost "orbital" layers surrounding an atom:

If you've taken chem you've learned chapter and verse about orbitals so I won't go much further on that.... if you haven't taken chem, make sure that you do (if you're a sophmore or jr who hasn't had chem and you're looking for a rigorous challenge NEXT year, take AP Chem! with Mr J.)


It's been MUCH TOO LONG since we've had MR W STORYTIME...everybody up front on the floor!

Let's take a quick gander at a rather humorous (I HOPE!) explanation of the formation of light HERE


Now let's look at the simplist example of how electrons can "leap" up and down fromm varous energy levels.

The light spectrum for just ONE of those series of quantum leaps is shown at the top of the image below:

Remember, light comes in MANY forms:

Rowdy Martians Invade Venus Using Xray Guns

The "Lyman Series" of electron quantum leaps produce light with too much energy for our eyes to see (ultra-violet)

The Balmer Series actually produces the visible light that we see as shown in the spectrum below:


If time permits:

Basic Photon Activity