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Light-Matter InteractionPhysics and Engineering at the Nanoscale, Second Edition$
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John Weiner and Frederico Nunes

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780198796664

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2017

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198796664.001.0001

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Radiation in Classical and Quantal Atoms

Radiation in Classical and Quantal Atoms

(p.328) 12 Radiation in Classical and Quantal Atoms
Light-Matter Interaction

John Weiner

Frederico Nunes

Oxford University Press

Chapter 12 introduces light–matter interaction at the atomic scale and at interaction energies less than, or comparable to, the chemical bond. The classical electrodynamics treatment for fields is retained, but a very simple quantum atomic structure with electric dipole transitions among atomic and molecular internal states is introduced. The correspondence between classical and quantal electron orbital angular momentum states in atoms is developed in detail for the hydrogen atom, and the difference between quantised orbital states and real, space-directed orbitals is explained. A wave mechanical quantum representation brings out the analogies between classical light waves, quantum matter waves, classical dipole radiation, and atomic radiative emission. The intrinsic electron spin, that has no classical analogue, is introduced and discussed. The chapter ends with a discussion of the rigid rotor, harmonic oscillator model to interpret rotational and vibrational diatomic molecular spectra. Finally rovibronic states complete the picture with the introduction of diatomic molecular electronic transitions.

Keywords:   dipole transitions, hydrogen atom, angular momentum, real orbitals, rigid rotor, harmonic oscillator, rovibronic states

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