# Saturated absorption: instanteneous, or does it produce lasting effects?

1. ### franco1991

20
In terms of saturated absorption of EM waves, is the following correct?:

The material only has so many atoms that can absorb photons, so if there are more photons that there are atoms, the atoms cannot absorb all the photons, and thus a certain percentage of the photons pass through.

OR alternatively is it that all the atoms becomes excited, and the time it takes to re-emit the photons increases, such that SUBSEQUENT application of photons results in less absorption.