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Need clarification

  1. Aug 13, 2005 #1
    I'm reading a modern physics textbook, and have trouble understanding this sentence:
    "Oscillators in the cavity walls can interchange energy with standing waves in the cavity only in quanta of hf"
    What is meant by that?
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 13, 2005 #2
  4. Aug 13, 2005 #3

    James R

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    For "oscillators" read "atoms"; for "quanta" read "photons"; for "hf" read "energy hf, where f is the frequency".
  5. Aug 13, 2005 #4
    It means that for a fixed frequency, the energy exchange may only occur
    as integer multiples of hf, that is hf, 2hf, 3hf ...

    Note: The "walls" means the electrons or atoms or molecules of the walls.
    It could even mean other things. A quantum oscillator is anything that
    can be excited into a state of definit energy (frequency) like the vibrational
    states of a molecule.
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2005
  6. Aug 14, 2005 #5
    oh, i see~
    thanks! :)
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