I would like to know if there are any other ways in which photon's are being emitted other than in the case an electron's orbital around a nucleus changes.

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    $\begingroup$ This seems like a list question. $\endgroup$
    – ACuriousMind
    Aug 15, 2015 at 13:45
  • $\begingroup$ @ACuriousMind perhaps, but a fairly short list - my take would be to show the two standard model Feynman diagram vertices with a photon. At a basic level, these are the only places photons can come from. Of course, they can be combined with other vertices to give more complicated interactions, but IMO there is a concise answer to this question (especially since an electronic transition is represented by one of the two vertices, all on its own - really there's only "one" other process). $\endgroup$
    – Kyle Oman
    Sep 3, 2015 at 17:09
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    $\begingroup$ @KyleOman While what you say about the microscopics may be technically correct, I'm not so sure it's the most useful way to think about this. Without seeing what two diagrams you're talking about I can't be certain I understand your meaning, but one cannot, for example, explain emission of electromagnetic radiation from an antenna via electrons changing orbitals. Is this covered by the second diagram you mention? $\endgroup$
    – DanielSank
    Sep 6, 2015 at 3:50
  • $\begingroup$ @DanielSank I should have said three, and upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/7/75/…, top middle, bottom left, bottom middle. Antenna radiation would be some form of the top centre vertex, I think. So is an electronic transition. $\endgroup$
    – Kyle Oman
    Sep 6, 2015 at 22:12

2 Answers 2


Yes. There are loads of physical processes in which photons are created. It won't be possible to list them all out but well known examples are matter-antimatter annihilation (e.g. electron-positron annihilation, at lower energies.), the acceleration of charged particles, radioactive decay (notably, Gamma Decay), etc.


That's a give and take. The emission of photons is always based on an energetic level of particles higher than the surrounded world. To reach this higher level it needs an receive of photons.

A moving electron will be deflected in a non parallel to the movement magnetic field and emit photons. How the electron reach the kinetic energy for this propagation? By electromagnetic interaction with other particles. Photons are responsible for the increasing kinetic energy. And they give this energy back in braking situations. And also in the form of photons.

So the change in orbital of an electron is only one possibility to recive or emit photons.


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