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An excited electron going to a lower orbit stirs both the magnetic and electric filed. And photon as the electromagnetic wave could carry the force carrier. However, supposedly only one photon is created in this process, but since the EM force could be felt in any direction, the photon would 'travel' in all direction before detection?

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The short answer is yes, the wavefunction of the photon can expand in a spherically symmetric manner before the photon is observed (although spherical symmetry is not necessary).

This is a case of what is known as the Mott probelm - an initially counterintuitive thought experiment about why straight tracks are observed in a cloud chamber even if the emitted particle's wavefunction is spherically symmetric. The correct answer involves treating the particles in the cloud chamber as part of a larger many-body quantum state interacting with the emitted particle, rather than just considering the atom and emitted particle alone.

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  • $\begingroup$ Ah, thank you! and also thanks for the extra information. $\endgroup$
    – frt132
    Jan 6 at 8:46

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