# Exchange of photons inside atoms

• I
• CassiopeiaA
In summary, the conversation discusses the different models for the interaction between electrons and protons, specifically in the context of the hydrogen atom. While a simplified model only considers the electron and a potential proportional to 1/r, a more advanced model includes the electromagnetic field and the exchange of photons between the electron and the nucleus.
CassiopeiaA
I was reading Feynman Diagrams and stumbled upon this query: If the electrons and protons interact by exchange of photons, does the electron inside an atoms also interact with the nucleus with a similar kind of exchange?

In a simplified model of the hydrogen atom, which you encounter in a first QM course, we have a particle of reduced mass ##\mu = \frac{m_p m_e}{m_p + m_e} \approx m_e## moving in a potential that's proportional to ##\frac{1}{r}##. However, in a more advanced and detailed treatment the system consists of an electron, a nucleus and the electromagnetic field, which are all seen as dynamical entities. In the advanced model, the interaction between the nucleus and the electron indeed happens through exchange of photons (excitations of the EM field).

vanhees71

## What is the exchange of photons inside atoms?

The exchange of photons inside atoms occurs when an atom releases or absorbs a photon, which is an elementary particle of light. This process is also known as emission or absorption of light.

## How do photons interact with atoms?

Photons interact with atoms through the electromagnetic force. This force causes charged particles, such as electrons, to be attracted or repelled by other charged particles, including photons.

## What is the purpose of exchanging photons inside atoms?

The exchange of photons inside atoms serves to transfer energy between atoms and allows for the emission and absorption of light. This process is essential for many natural phenomena, including photosynthesis and vision.

## Can atoms exchange photons with each other?

Yes, atoms can exchange photons with each other through a process called scattering. This occurs when a photon interacts with an atom and is then re-emitted in a different direction, changing its path and energy.

## How do the properties of photons affect their exchange inside atoms?

The properties of photons, such as their frequency and energy, determine how they will interact with atoms. For example, photons with higher energies can cause electrons to move to higher energy levels within an atom, while lower energy photons may be absorbed or scattered by the atom.

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