Based on the quantum mechanical model, it is not possible to predict exactly where electrons are located but there is a region of space surrounding the nucleus in which there is a high probability of finding an electron (electron cloud or orbital). Data from atomic spectra (emission and absorption) gives evidence that electrons can only exist at certain discrete energy levels and not at energies between these levels. Atoms are usually in the ground state where the electrons occupy orbitals with the lowest available energy. However, the atom can become excited when the electrons absorb a photon with the precise amount of energy (indicated by the frequency of the photon) to move to an orbital with higher energy. Any photon without this precise amount of energy will be ignored by the electron. The atom exists in the excited state for a very short amount of time. When an electron drops back down to the lower energy level, it emits a photon that has energy equal to the energy difference between the levels. The amount of energy is indicated by the frequency of the light that is given off and can be measured. Each element has a unique emission and absorption spectrum due to its unique electron configuration and specific electron energy jumps that are possible for that element. Being aware of the quantum mechanical model as the currently accepted model for the atom is important for science literacy as it explains and predicts subatomic interactions, but details should be reserved for more advanced study.