Register to reply

Saturated absorption: instanteneous, or does it produce lasting effects?

Share this thread:
Jan30-12, 06:45 PM
P: 20
In terms of saturated absorption of EM waves, is the following correct?:

The material only has so many atoms that can absorb photons, so if there are more photons that there are atoms, the atoms cannot absorb all the photons, and thus a certain percentage of the photons pass through.

OR alternatively is it that all the atoms becomes excited, and the time it takes to re-emit the photons increases, such that SUBSEQUENT application of photons results in less absorption.

Additional details:

If the first is correct, that there aren't enough atoms to absorb every photon, then could one not decrease the intensity of light required to reach saturated absorption in a material by decreasing the number of atoms (in the wave's path) rather than increasing the intensity of the EM wave?
Phys.Org News Partner Physics news on
Engineers develop new sensor to detect tiny individual nanoparticles
Tiny particles have big potential in debate over nuclear proliferation
Ray tracing and beyond

Register to reply

Related Discussions
Can the effects of the higgs field be saturated? High Energy, Nuclear, Particle Physics 0
What is saturated absorption? Quantum Physics 1
Instanteneous velocity... Introductory Physics Homework 2
The lasting of the sense of vision Medical Sciences 2
Mixture of saturated liquid and saturated vapor Biology, Chemistry & Other Homework 3