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When a high-energy photon hits a material that fluoresces, what formula can you use to determine how many photons will radiate out as the material de-excites? I would like the most general formula that you can identify all the terms in.

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  • $\begingroup$ The question sounds too generic. What kind of material do you consider. Organic molecules? Or an isolated atom? For a simple two-level system, there is a relatively simple formula, but things grow quickly in complexity, as you add more levels. The reason is that your fluorescent material can de-excite to different states with different branching ratios, and some states will be "dark" to your incident light (won't respond). $\endgroup$ – wcc Jul 27 '18 at 20:44
  • $\begingroup$ The material is glass. I expect it will be pretty cold, as a satellite. $\endgroup$ – Post169 Jul 27 '18 at 21:31
  • $\begingroup$ I can understand glass will scatter photons elastically, (Rayleigh scattering) but never heard of glass fluorescing. Any reference on that? $\endgroup$ – wcc Jul 27 '18 at 21:34
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    $\begingroup$ @IamAStudent Leaded glass is (or at least was) a common choice for calorimeters because the high mass-density leads to smaller devices. For efficient scintillation it needs enough lead that it (a) has a distinct yellow-green tint and (b) even quite small blocks are shockingly heavy in the hand. Other dopants can also generate scintillation or fluorescence. $\endgroup$ – dmckee Jul 28 '18 at 4:07

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