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General operational theory of fluorescence is

  1. Oct 29, 2011 #1

    I think the general operational theory of fluorescence is understood - a molecule accepts a photon, its electrons are excited from the ground state to a higher energy state, and, as they return to the ground state, they emit EM waves which we see as light. My question is what makes some molecules or compounds better at doing this than others? Surely all molecules should be able to do this, as all molecules have electrons that can be excited?

    Many thanks,
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 30, 2011 #2


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    Science Advisor

    Re: Fluorescence

    As explained in the Wikipedia article on Fluorescence, there are a number of ways in which the atom can deexcite without emitting a photon. See especially Wiki's article on "Quenching (fluorescence)"
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