Photon and free electron

  • Thread starter ajl1989
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  • #1
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Why is it that a photon can't transfer all its energy to a free electron?
 

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  • #2
jtbell
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It's imposible to conserve both energy and momentum in such a process. You need another particle or object in order to do this.
 
  • #3
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It's not the same thing, but there is a classical analogue of that fact: a ball of mass m cannot transfer all its kinetic energy to a ball of mass M=/=m.
 
  • #4
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The only way for a photon to interact with a free electron (other than photoproduction at very high energies) is via Compton scattering.
 

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