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I have been searching a lot about this but can't find a sufficient explanation.

Is there a quantum description/explanation why in Rayleigh scattering, the high energy photons (blue) are scattered stronger than low energy photons (towards red)? What is the quantum explanation that makes very small scatterers (like air molecules) be selective for certain photons like that?

I know that in the case of luminescence, the selectivity of photons absorption depends on the available energy states of the electrons of an atom/molecule. Furthermore, the size of quantum dots also determine these available energy states as far as I understand. However, in the case of scattering there are, so to speak, virtual energy states that can virtually absorb (and then scatter) any photon energy. So why the selectivity in Rayleigh scattering then?

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  • $\begingroup$ No one who could answer this? $\endgroup$ – JohnnyGui Feb 21 '17 at 18:50

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