1
vote
3answers
95 views

Do atoms of a surface excite to reflect the light?

How do surfaces reflect certain colours and absorb the others?
17
votes
4answers
525 views

Is the electromagnetic spectrum discrete?

I'm just starting to learn physics and I have a question (that is probably stupid.) I learned that energy levels that the bound electron can have are discrete. I also learned that when an electron ...
2
votes
0answers
142 views

Does this photon emission problem even make sense?

I came across this question in an introductory physics course awhile back and I never got over it: "A hydrogen atom has an electron in the n=5 orbit, what is the maximum number of photons that might ...
4
votes
3answers
167 views

How do we know that internal conversion creates no intermediate photon?

I've read, from several sources, that in internal conversion -- an excited electron transferring its energy to another electron which is then emitted -- no intermediate gamma radiation is produced. ...
3
votes
2answers
416 views

At what angle does a single atom “reflect” a single photon?

Does this question make sense in the quantum world? Imagining a single photon (wave packet?) interacting with a single atom (its electrons etc) how do we currently describe/define the emitted photon ...
3
votes
2answers
391 views

Is the electron wave function defined during photon emission

I have heard the term quantum leap to describe the (instantaneous?) transition from a higher energy orbital to a lower energy orbital. Yet, I understand that this transition time has now been ...
6
votes
2answers
344 views

Why and how, in QED, can excited atoms emit photons?

The quantum mechanics of the structure of atoms as determined by the electromagnetic forces inside them correctly describes the location and coupling of the different energy levels in essentially all ...
4
votes
3answers
3k views

Photon hitting an atom with higher energy than needed to ionize

Suppose we have an atom with several energy levels (e.g. an hydrogen), and it is hit by photons. I know that in order to have the atom change energy levels, the photon must have an energy level ...