how does current running through the metal filament of a light bulb produce light at a quantum level?
i know it's because the resistance of the filament, but what do the electrons do as they pass through it
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is it simply due to electrons being excited to an orbital of higher energy then dropping back down, and if so, how do the electrons promote other electrons? lol
The electric field in the metal change the motion of the electrons, which does a small amount of work (energy) which allows the electrons to move up slightly in energy promoting them into an empty atomic orbital (the conduction band) which allows the electrons to move in a current. The electrons collide with metal nuclei extremely frequently, which imparts much more energy to the atoms of the metal in the form of heat. The energy of the heat generated is enough to excite the electrons to an even higher level in the conduction band, at which point they quickly drop down emitting the corresponding photon.