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Trapped Electrons

  1. Nov 22, 2008 #1
    I am currently reading about matter waves and electron traps.

    the textbook states, by the equation:

    hf = [tex]\Delta[/tex]E = Ehigh - Elow

    If an electron confined to a one-dimensional infinite potential well is to absorb a photon, the energy hf of the photon must equal the energy difference [tex]\Delta[/tex]E between the initial energy level of the electron and a higher level.

    Then as an aside, the textbook states:
    Although the above equation and what we have discussed about photon absorption and emission can be applied to physical (real) electron traps, they actually cannot be applied to one-dimensional (unreal) electron traps. The reason involves the need to conserve angular momentum in a photon absorption or emission process.

    I do not understand this statement about angular momentum.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 22, 2008 #2
    It's because a photon carries angular momentum, but in 1-D the concept of angular momentum is not defined.
     
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