How is ionization explained in quantum mechanics?

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Generally, ionization is any process of electrically neutral atoms or molecules transforming to electrically charged atoms or molecules called ions. This is the general framework for beginning to understand how energy is converted into matter. Once the particles are energized, the particles can penetrate solids. But this ability is only...

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Generally, ionization is any process of electrically neutral atoms or molecules transforming to electrically charged atoms or molecules called ions. This is the general framework for beginning to understand how energy is converted into matter. Once the particles are energized, the particles can penetrate solids. But this ability is only potential power. So ionization potential is the potential for removing an outermost electron from an atom and moving it to another atom. Electrons that are not strongly bound to matter can more easily penetrate other forms of matter than non-valence (inner) electrons.

Specifically, in quantum mechanics, a particle that isn't strongly bound to matter can leave a nucleus of electrons and become a free electron without affixing to another form of matter. That is the underpinning of quantum mechanic theory. It is the idea that an indivisible, free electron, without being affixed to a form of matter, is a subatomic particle that does not obey Newtonian physics. Therefore, in quantum mechanics ionization theory, an electron must have a minimum amount of ionization energy to remove it from a neutral atom. Otherwise, it cannot be separated from the form of matter. A free electron in quantum mechanics has the requisite ionization energy, by definition, to separate from the form of matter.

Of course, this theory cannot perfectly explain ionization in all atoms. The earth's atmosphere is too complex to be able to use this simple theory to explain electron behavior. Atomic calculations of ionization energy can be affected by many factors in the Earth's atmosphere, such as radiation levels, temperatures, and gravity. But the theory is central to understanding how particles move and why those particles take on many different forms. Without it, the field of quantum mechanics is missing a critical piece to the puzzle of figuring out how we can alter our physical reality, or at least better understand our physical reality.

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