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Photon Absorption

  • Thread starter nothing123
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  • #1
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Quick question: when an electron absorbs a photon with MORE THAN enough energy to jump one energy level but not two, what happens to the extra energy the electron doesn't absorb?

Thanks.
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
Dick
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If there's no state for it to jump to by absorbing the whole photon, it can't absorb the photon.
 
  • #3
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The probability, or cross sections for photon absorption for bond levels in atoms are extremely peaked at the frequency of the transition, [tex] h\nu = E_u - E_l [/tex], pretty much like delta functions. Well, they're actually Lorenzian profiles, but the width is extremely small, ~[tex]10^{-4} \AA [/tex] for most transitions. If the photon doesn't have essentially the same energy as the energy difference of the levels, it won't get absorbed.
 

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