Why does an atom lose energy when it gains an electron?

It’s a good thing to lose energy. It’s how everything seems to happen spontaneously. A fridge magnet is a bar magnet. There is a force that holds the magnet to the fridge. You will need to use energy to remove the magnet from the fridge. In effect, you have given magnet/fridge system an increased potential energy than they had when they were connected. Don’t believe me. Put a piece of newspaper between the fridge and the magnet, but not touching it. The magnet will push the paper onto your fridge by moving closer to it. To push the paper (and its self) onto the fridge, it used energy.

An electron in free space has more energy than an electron attached to an Atom. This is because the electron is attracted to the positive nucleus, even if it makes the Atom negative. To remove the electron from ‘free space’ you must give it energy.

energy = force x distance.

Leave a Comment