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A couple of easy questions related to quantum mechanics

  1. Oct 21, 2012 #1
    Hi, I have a couple of easy questions related to quantum mechanics.

    1.Does ionization itself cause radiation and why? I know that when electron collides with an atom it can remove electron if it has enough kinetic energy. And when atom becomes excited and then returns to the ground state it emits a photon. Does ionization emit a photon?

    2. What happens to that electron after it has collided with an atom?
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 21, 2012 #2


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    No. Ionization means that an atom (an electron bound in an atom) absorbes a photon. This process transfers energy to the electron. Radiation is observed when a (free) electron is trapped by an ion i.e. when the electron emits the radiation. For an atom X, the ion X+, the electron e- and the photon γ (representing the radiation) there are two processes

    [tex]X + \gamma \to X^+ + e^-[/tex]

    [tex]X^+ + e^- \to X + \gamma[/tex]

    You are right, but you should be careful whether you want to talk about excitation / emission / absorpotion of radiation (photons) or excitations via electron - these are two different processes.


    It seems that you are talking about something different, namely a process like

    [tex]X + e^- \to X^+ + 2e^-[/tex]

    Is this correct?
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