Definition question about atomic fluorescence

In summary, atomic fluorescence involves spontaneous emission only and can occur without a change in magnetic quantum number, even in the presence of an applied magnetic field. The term "atomic fluorescence" is typically used to describe spontaneous emission of atoms, which is a subset of fluorescence. However, fluorescence can occur without changing the spin, even in the case of an applied magnetic field.
  • #1
td21
Gold Member
177
8
Does atomic fluorescence involve:
1. spontaneous emission (or only),
2. stimulated emission (or only)
3. change in magnetic quantum number $$\Delta m \neq 0$$

?
Thank you.
Rarely can I find a definition on the internet. My guess is that atomic fluorescence involves spontaneous emission only. Fluorescence seems to be a term accompanying spontaneous emission only (but not involving stimulated emission), as in chemical compounds; while atomic Fluorescence seems to be a subset of Fluorescence. Does it always involve a change in magnetic quantum number?
 
Last edited:
  • #3
I especially hope to know if it always involves a change in magnetic quantum number. Can the term
atomic fluorescence include spontaneous emission with no change in magnetic quantum number? Thanks.
 
  • #4
td21 said:
I especially hope to know if it always involves a change in magnetic quantum number. Can the term
atomic fluorescence include spontaneous emission with no change in magnetic quantum number? Thanks.

I think a short answer to your question is: yes, spontaneous emission can occur without change in magnetic quantum number.

In fact, unless you specifically apply an external magnetic field, there IS no magnetic quantum number (I assume you mean the spin here?), and as such it cannot change. However, even in the case of an applied magnetic field, fuorescence can occur without changing the spin, since emission in a direction perpendicular to the magetic field quantization axis (and with a particular polarization) again cannot see the quantization axis and so cannot change the spin.

I tend to think of fluorescence as simply meaning spontaneous emission, regardless of the involved levels.
 

Related to Definition question about atomic fluorescence

1. What is atomic fluorescence?

Atomic fluorescence is a spectroscopic technique used to detect and quantify the presence of certain elements and molecules in a sample. It involves the absorption of light by atoms, followed by the emission of light at a longer wavelength, which can be measured and used to identify the sample's composition.

2. How does atomic fluorescence work?

In atomic fluorescence, a sample is first atomized and then excited with a light source, such as a laser. This causes the atoms to absorb energy and become excited. As the excited atoms return to their ground state, they emit light at specific wavelengths, which can be detected and measured to identify the elements present in the sample.

3. What are the applications of atomic fluorescence?

Atomic fluorescence is commonly used in environmental, pharmaceutical, and forensic analysis to identify and quantify trace elements and molecules in samples. It is also used in industrial processes to monitor and control the concentration of certain elements in products.

4. What are the advantages of atomic fluorescence over other spectroscopic techniques?

Atomic fluorescence offers high sensitivity and selectivity, making it a valuable tool for analyzing complex samples. It also has a wide dynamic range and can detect elements in very low concentrations. Additionally, it is a non-destructive technique, allowing for the reuse of samples.

5. Are there any limitations to atomic fluorescence?

One limitation of atomic fluorescence is that it can only detect elements and molecules that have characteristic emission wavelengths. It is also limited by the sensitivity of the detection equipment and the complexity of the sample matrix. Additionally, sample preparation may be required for certain samples, which can be time-consuming and costly.

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