- #1

- 22

- 2

- TL;DR Summary
- Can an atomic electron be excited to the next orbital energy state by a photon with more or less energy than the orbital energy gap?

Quick question: let's say we have an atomic electron in the ground state which requires, say, one "unit" of energy* to jump up to the next orbital energy state. If a photon arrives with a bit more or less than this, say 1.00003 or 0.99997 units of energy, is there some finite, non-zero probability that the photon will still be absorbed and the electron will be kicked up into the next orbital energy state? Or does the energy of the incident photon have to be

*So for a Hydrogen atom transitioning from n1=1 to n2=2, for example, this amount of energy would be -13.6*(1 - 1/4) = -10.2 eV

*exactly*1.0000000(etc.) units? Thanks!*So for a Hydrogen atom transitioning from n1=1 to n2=2, for example, this amount of energy would be -13.6*(1 - 1/4) = -10.2 eV

Last edited: