Googling the word "quantum" bring up "a discrete quantity of power proportional in magnitude to the frequency of the radiation that represents." but what go this average in layman's terms? does it have actually something to execute with electron "dropping" and releasing photons? This word has actually been supplied in mine chemistry class in the context of orbitals and I have not however heard one explanation the helps me recognize what the means.

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It way you can't have half an electron.

In recommendation to orbitals, it method an electron can not be in-between orbitals, even briefly. As soon as an electron transitions between adjacent orbitals, it does so in one step, publication or soaking up exactly the lot of energy needed for the step.

(When that transitions between non-adjacent orbitals, it deserve to do for this reason in multiple steps, but each intermediate state has to be in one orbital.)

First of all particles in quantum mechanics are always both a wave and a particle. Castle behaviour is defined using the Schrödinger equation, i m sorry is a wave equation. Or rather the solution to the Schrödinger equation is a wave. It must be provided that the solution, the wavefunction psi, is the probability density of the particle.If you look in ~ the straightforward example that a bit in a box the equipment is merely psi=A*sin(kx). You can see that the wavefunction psi has to be 0 at the walls, since the potential there is infinite. Because sine is only 0 for values of 0, and also any lot of of pi, the wavenumber k is constrained to worths of n*pi/L (where together is the length of the box and also n is any integer native 1-infinity. This method that just a discrete quantity of waves, think power states, is possible. N is also called the rule quantum number in the case of electrons. You deserve to then prolong this idea to an electron in orbit roughly a proton, whereby it forms a was standing wave roughly the cell core (this is of course a hydrogen atom). The equipment for this is pretty much the very same as for the particle in a box. You have now shown that electrons can only have actually discrete energies if they are bound by an atom. Girlfriend now have a quantized summary of one electron.Of course there are an ext things administrate the plot of one electron roughly a proton and you will need to considere the angular momentum, even spin (intrinsic angular momentum, angular momentum without any apparent activity of the particle) and also so on. This all also appear as quantized. That means the electron deserve to only have details discrete worths of angular momentum etc. Etc. If it is bound in a hydrogen atom. This offers rise to the characteristics orbitals.The electrons have the right to only exist in these certain energy levels. Undoubtedly they can additionally only absorb energy in these power levels. That is what you do once you to speak an electron is excited. It is elevated from one energy level come the next. If it climate jumps ago into the lower energy level, which it will certainly eventually, the emits a photon with precisely the power that is equal to the difference between the two power levels. For this reason for example the lyman alpha line of the hydrogen is emitted once an excited electron in the hydrogen atoms jumps from the n=2 come the n=1 energy level. tl;dr: corpuscle in a tied state, such as a potential well or an atom, deserve to only exist in discrete energy states. Additionally they are explained by the wavefunction which gives them wave-like action (roughly said).

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Since the source of this originates from quantum mechanics every particle defined by this is said to it is in "quantized". (later top top in QFT the same additionally applies to fields)