Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Light produced from cooling, as opposed to heating.

Ever since I found out about transitional elements d orbital’s I have wondered if it is possible to produce light from cooling them. It follows that if light is produced by the electron shedding energy as light when they return to their stable electron shell that if there are empty shells below then they should be able to be squashed in to them and emit light of a wavelength corresponding to the step they have made from one orbital to the next.
The first step would be to theoretically determine what the energy output would be for that jump in the atomic spectra. This would allow development of a photon receptor specifically tuned to that wavelength to use as a detector.
Next to find a way to get the electrons into the lower orbital. I always though cooling the metal would be the best way to make it more stable.

But there is no fast way to cool something, nothing compared to a laser or nuclear fusion. What is the most endothermic reaction available?

I don’t imagine at first there would be more than a few photons emitted so this also would require development of a reaction chamber similar to a laser to capture any photons and direct them onto the detector.

Possible applications: I don’t know. More likely the useful bit of this exercise would be the cooling mechanism.

The bonding structure of the elements should change so having them in a suspension of metallic form is probably safest. You wouldn’t want to create a temporarily superdense particle that is extremely reactive and exothermic on the first attempt.

Alternatively maybe it is possible to have a similar setup to Flame ionisation spectrographs. Distribute the metal ions in a solution that is vaporised into a reaction chamber and supercooled (as opposed to burnt)

How else could the atoms be made stable enough for the electrons to drop down a shell? Cooling would only remove kinetic energy. Maybe an increasing density could overcome the electrons repulsion of each other, or flooding the sample with more electrons than it can handle.

Magnetism is another interesting aspect. The more lone electrons there are with the same orientation of spin the more magnetic the element is. This may confine most of those electrons to pairs. Would this then cause the elements to lose all their magnetic moment? Gaining it again when the electrons return to their original orbit?


It has been quite a while since I did any quantum mechanics, so there may be a few holes in my methods and I am sure some of the phases are incorrect. I think I firs asked my science teacher about this in grade 10. I also asked some of my chemistry lecturers but they all gave a non-committal answer. Eventually I hope to find out, maybe I should go back to uni and study it myself?