The energy expressed by an electron in a substance’s band model is referred to as energy levels. These levels (also known as electron shells) are fixed distances from an atom’s nucleus where electrons can be located. Electrons are tiny, negatively charged particles that travel around an atom’s positive nucleus. The stairs of a staircase represent energy levels. You can stand on one of the stairs but not between them. The same is true for protons. They can fill one energy level or the other, but not the space between them.

Energy level I electrons (also known as energy level K electrons) have the least quantity of energy. Higher-level electrons have more energy as you move away from the nucleus, and their energy rises by a fixed, discrete amount. If electrons absorb this quantity of energy, they can jump from one energy level to the next. If electrons jump from a higher to a lower energy level, they emit energy, which is often in the shape of light. This explains the above-pictured pyrotechnics. Electrons acquire energy and jump to higher energy levels when fireworks explode.

When they return to their normal energy levels, the energy is released as light. Because various atoms have varying electron arrangements, they emit light of different colors.

### What are Energy Levels and Orbital?

Hydrogen atoms are the tiniest atoms. They only have one atom. That single particle has the lowest energy level. More electrons are found in larger nuclei. Electrons are always introduced to the lowest energy level first until it has the most electrons. The electrons are then added to the next higher energy level until it is completely filled, and so on.

How many electrons can be held in a particular energy level? Well, the amount of energy Energy level I can only hold two electrons, while energy level II can carry up to eight electrons. The maximum amount is determined by the number of orbitals at each energy level. An orbital is a volume of the area within an atom that is most likely to contain an electron. As you can see, some orbitals resemble spheres (S orbitals), while others resemble weights (P orbitals). Other kinds of orbitals exist as well.

### What is Special About the Outermost Levels?

Electrons in an atom’s outermost energy level have a unique significance. These electrons are known as valence electrons, and they decide many of an atom’s properties. An atom is most stable when it has as many electrons as it can retain in its outermost energy level. Helium, for example, has two electrons in the first energy region. Because this energy level can only contain two electrons, helium’s only energy level is occupied. As a result, helium is a very steady element. That is, its atoms are unlikely to react with those of other elements.

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Elliot is a passionate environmentalist and blogger who has dedicated his life to spreading awareness about conservation, green energy, and renewable energy. With a background in environmental science, he has a deep understanding of the issues facing our planet and is committed to educating others on how they can make a difference.