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B From whence cometh the photon?

  1. Jun 25, 2017 #1
    Hi, I am a new member here. I am a non-physicist. I have been told that the electron is an elementary particle. I have been told that when an electron moves to a lower shell there is a photon emitted. If the electron is elementary where does the photon come from? Thanks in advance for your consideration.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 25, 2017 #2


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    Staff: Mentor

    At a very handwavey-level: It is created from the energy released when the electron drops to the lower level. It wasn't around in any way, shape, or form before then.
  4. Jun 25, 2017 #3


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    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor

    The photon is an excitation of the electromagnetic field, which was already present. The electron's transition between energy levels creates a disturbance in the EM field that propagates outwards as an EM wave. The photon is the means by which this EM wave interacts with matter.
  5. Jun 25, 2017 #4
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