From what I have been reading, the reflection of light from an object, like th eyellow color of sulfur is the same phenomenon as Rayleigh scattering. It seems that the electrons receive the incoming photon and are raised to a higher "virtual energy state." When they return to the ground state they emit a photon with the same frequency. This seems to indicate that an atom or molecule could receive any given amount of energy and that the energy of the atom or molecule is not truly quantized. How can these explanations be reconciled? (I have seen other descriptions from other perspectives, such as viewing the incomin photon as a wave that sets the electron cloud oscillating at the frequency of the photon, and this oscillation generates the scattered photon. Though this explanation may make sense, I am interested in an expalnation that accounts for energy states. Even in the oscillating cloud explanation, it would seem that the oscillating cloud is at ahigher energy than the non-scillating cloud.) Thanks for your help.