How does an electron absorb a photon?

First, let’s emphasize the fact that electrons which are freely propagating in space can absorb photons. Only bound electrons (e.g. Only bound electrons (e.g. Radiation can be absorbed. Absorption of a photon can demonstrate that electrons can jump from one bound state to another, with lower energy (or less bound), by absorption. Absorption probability is greatest when the photon energy equals the energy difference between final and initial bound states of an electron.


The absorption of the free electron cannot occur because it would violate momentum/energy conservation.

Perhaps you were wondering how it could happen that a particle disappears, and is absorbed by another. What is the intimate nature of radiation and matter? This is something I don’t know the answer to, but I can tell that I believe that all particles are simply manifestations of energy.


Leave a Comment