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Gas and photons

  1. Aug 24, 2014 #1
    If a gas is bombarded with light will the atoms absorb the light and emit photons of an equal energy level?
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 24, 2014 #2


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    It is more complicated and depends on the constituents of the gas. Typically when a photon is absorbed an atom or molecule will go to a higher energy state. What happens next depends on the material and the photon wavelength.
  4. Aug 24, 2014 #3


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    They don't have to emit photons of an equal energy level... I'm talking about photon absorption...
    For a rough example, suppose you have three energy levels... [itex] E_{3} > E_{2} >E_{1}[/itex]... if the absorbed photon has energy [itex]E= |E_{3}- E_{1}|[/itex], then you can have the production of 2 photons of energy [itex]\epsilon_{a}=|E_{3}- E_{2}|[/itex] and [itex]\epsilon_{b}=|E_{2}-E_{1}|[/itex]...
  5. Aug 24, 2014 #4
    Is there any particular way to determine the constituency of gas as it relates to the release of photons
  6. Aug 26, 2014 #5


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    Yes. The spectrum of the emitted radiation. Each atomic species has its own spectrum. This is how we know what stars are made of, among other things.
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