Quantum physics

  • #1

Main Question or Discussion Point

Why can't energy is absorbed by protons rather than by electrons when a light ray strikes the atom.
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
93
0
Hi,

Light is absorbed when there is an excited state to go to.
You can picture a proton as the ground state of the (uud) 3-quarks system. The first excited state of this system (if it exists at all… :confused: I don't know…) is very high in energy and unreachable by photons with “reasonnable” energies :smile:
 
  • #3
8
0
Protons can absorb photons too but it's easier for an electron to absorb it because it can move around
 
  • #4
jtbell
Mentor
15,507
3,304
Nuclear energy levels are measured in MeV (millions of electron volts), whereas photons of visible light have energies of only a few eV.
 

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