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Absorption Band
According to quantum mechanics, atoms and molecules can only hold certain defined quantities of energy, or exist in specific states. When such quanta of electromagnetic radiation are emitted or absorbed by an atom or molecule, energy of the radiation changes the state of the atom or molecule from an initial state to a final state. An absorption band is a range of wavelengths, frequencies or energies in the electromagnetic spectrum which are characteristic of a particular transition from initial to final state in a substance. Overview According to quantum mechanics, atoms and molecules can only hold certain defined quantities of energy, or exist in specific states. When electromagnetic radiation is absorbed by an atom or molecule, the energy of the radiation changes the state of the atom or molecule from an initial state to a final state. The number of states in a specific energy range is discrete for gaseous or diluted systems, with discrete energy levels. Condensed sy ...
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Atmospheric Transmission-en
An atmosphere () is a layer of gas or layers of gases that envelop a planet, and is held in place by the gravity of the planetary body. A planet retains an atmosphere when the gravity is great and the temperature of the atmosphere is low. A stellar atmosphere is the outer region of a star, which includes the layers above the opaque photosphere; stars of low temperature might have outer atmospheres containing compound molecules. The atmosphere of Earth is composed of nitrogen (78%), oxygen (21%), argon (0.9%), carbon dioxide (0.04%) and trace gases. Most organisms use oxygen for respiration; lightning and bacteria perform nitrogen fixation to produce ammonia that is used to make nucleotides and amino acids; plants, algae, and cyanobacteria use carbon dioxide for photosynthesis. The layered composition of the atmosphere minimises the harmful effects of sunlight, ultraviolet radiation, the solar wind, and cosmic rays to protect organisms from genetic damage. The current com ...
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Photon
A photon () is an elementary particle that is a quantum of the electromagnetic field, including electromagnetic radiation such as light and radio waves, and the force carrier for the electromagnetic force. Photons are massless, so they always move at the speed of light in vacuum, (or about ). The photon belongs to the class of bosons. As with other elementary particles, photons are best explained by quantum mechanics and exhibit wave–particle duality, their behavior featuring properties of both waves and particles. The modern photon concept originated during the first two decades of the 20th century with the work of Albert Einstein, who built upon the research of Max Planck. While trying to explain how matter and electromagnetic radiation could be in thermal equilibrium with one another, Planck proposed that the energy stored within a material object should be regarded as composed of an integer number of discrete, equal-sized parts. To explain the photoelectr ...
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Atomic Spectral Line
Spectroscopy is the field of study that measures and interprets the electromagnetic spectra that result from the interaction between electromagnetic radiation and matter as a function of the wavelength or frequency of the radiation. Matter waves and acoustic waves can also be considered forms of radiative energy, and recently gravitational waves have been associated with a spectral signature in the context of the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) In simpler terms, spectroscopy is the precise study of color as generalized from visible light to all bands of the electromagnetic spectrum. Historically, spectroscopy originated as the study of the wavelength dependence of the absorption by gas phase matter of visible light dispersed by a prism. Spectroscopy, primarily in the electromagnetic spectrum, is a fundamental exploratory tool in the fields of astronomy, chemistry, materials science, and physics, allowing the composition, physical structure and ...
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Quadrupole
A quadrupole or quadrapole is one of a sequence of configurations of things like electric charge or current, or gravitational mass that can exist in ideal form, but it is usually just part of a multipole expansion of a more complex structure reflecting various orders of complexity. Mathematical definition The quadrupole moment tensor ''Q'' is a rank-two tensor—3×3 matrix. There are several definitions, but it is normally stated in the traceless form (i.e. Q_ + Q_ + Q_ = 0). The quadrupole moment tensor has thus nine components, but because of transposition symmetry and zero-trace property, in this form only five of these are independent. For a discrete system of \ell point charges or masses in the case of a gravitational quadrupole, each with charge q_\ell, or mass m_\ell, and position \vec_\ell = \left(r_, r_, r_\right) relative to the coordinate system origin, the components of the ''Q'' matrix are defined by: : Q_ = \sum_\ell q_\ell\left(3r_ r_ - \left\, \vec_\ell \rig ...
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Dipole
In physics, a dipole () is an electromagnetic phenomenon which occurs in two ways: *An electric dipole deals with the separation of the positive and negative electric charges found in any electromagnetic system. A simple example of this system is a pair of charges of equal magnitude but opposite sign separated by some typically small distance. (A permanent electric dipole is called an electret.) *A magnetic dipole is the closed circulation of an electric current system. A simple example is a single loop of wire with constant current through it. A bar magnet is an example of a magnet with a permanent magnetic dipole moment. Dipoles, whether electric or magnetic, can be characterized by their dipole moment, a vector quantity. For the simple electric dipole, the electric dipole moment points from the negative charge towards the positive charge, and has a magnitude equal to the strength of each charge times the separation between the charges. (To be precise: for the definition of t ...
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Absorption Cross Section
Absorption cross section is a measure for the probability of an absorption process. More generally, the term cross section is used in physics to quantify the probability of a certain particle-particle interaction, e.g., scattering, electromagnetic absorption, etc. (Note that light in this context is described as consisting of particles, i.e., photons.) In honor of the fundamental contribution of Maria Goeppert Mayer to this area, the unit for the two-photon absorption cross section is named the "GM". One GM is 10−50 cm4⋅s⋅photon−1. In the context of ozone shielding of ultraviolet light, absorption cross section is the ability of a molecule to absorb a photon of a particular wavelength and polarization. Analogously, in the context of nuclear engineering it refers to the probability of a particle (usually a neutron) being absorbed by a nucleus. Although the units are given as an area, it does not refer to an actual size area, at least partially because the density ...
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Selection Rules
In physics and chemistry, a selection rule, or transition rule, formally constrains the possible transitions of a system from one quantum state to another. Selection rules have been derived for electromagnetic transitions in molecules, in atoms, in atomic nuclei, and so on. The selection rules may differ according to the technique used to observe the transition. The selection rule also plays a role in chemical reactions, where some are formally spin-forbidden reactions, that is, reactions where the spin state changes at least once from reactants to products. In the following, mainly atomic and molecular transitions are considered. Overview In quantum mechanics the basis for a spectroscopic selection rule is the value of the ''transition moment integral''  :\int \psi_1^* \, \mu \, \psi_2 \, \mathrm\tau\,, where \psi_1 and \psi_2 are the wave functions of the two states, "state 1" and "state 2", involved in the transition, and is the transition moment operator. T ...
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Conservation Law (physics)
In physics, a conservation law states that a particular measurable property of an isolated physical system does not change as the system evolves over time. Exact conservation laws include conservation of energy, conservation of linear momentum, conservation of angular momentum, and conservation of electric charge. There are also many approximate conservation laws, which apply to such quantities as mass, parity, lepton number, baryon number, strangeness, hypercharge, etc. These quantities are conserved in certain classes of physics processes, but not in all. A local conservation law is usually expressed mathematically as a continuity equation, a partial differential equation which gives a relation between the amount of the quantity and the "transport" of that quantity. It states that the amount of the conserved quantity at a point or within a volume can only change by the amount of the quantity which flows in or out of the volume. From Noether's theorem, each conservation l ...
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Angular Momentum
In physics, angular momentum (rarely, moment of momentum or rotational momentum) is the rotational analog of linear momentum. It is an important physical quantity because it is a conserved quantity—the total angular momentum of a closed system remains constant. Angular momentum has both a direction and a magnitude, and both are conserved. Bicycles and motorcycles, frisbees, rifled bullets, and gyroscopes owe their useful properties to conservation of angular momentum. Conservation of angular momentum is also why hurricanes form spirals and neutron stars have high rotational rates. In general, conservation limits the possible motion of a system, but it does not uniquely determine it. The three-dimensional angular momentum for a point particle is classically represented as a pseudovector , the cross product of the particle's position vector (relative to some origin) and its momentum vector; the latter is in Newtonian mechanics. Unlike linear momentum, angular m ...
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Momentum
In Newtonian mechanics, momentum (more specifically linear momentum or translational momentum) is the product of the mass and velocity of an object. It is a vector quantity, possessing a magnitude and a direction. If is an object's mass and is its velocity (also a vector quantity), then the object's momentum is : \mathbf = m \mathbf. In the International System of Units (SI), the unit of measurement of momentum is the kilogram metre per second (kg⋅m/s), which is equivalent to the newton-second. Newton's second law of motion states that the rate of change of a body's momentum is equal to the net force acting on it. Momentum depends on the frame of reference, but in any inertial frame it is a ''conserved'' quantity, meaning that if a closed system is not affected by external forces, its total linear momentum does not change. Momentum is also conserved in special relativity (with a modified formula) and, in a modified form, in electrodynamics, quantum mechanics, ...
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Energy
In physics, energy (from Ancient Greek: ἐνέργεια, ''enérgeia'', “activity”) is the quantitative property that is transferred to a body or to a physical system, recognizable in the performance of work and in the form of heat and light. Energy is a conserved quantity—the law of conservation of energy states that energy can be converted in form, but not created or destroyed. The unit of measurement for energy in the International System of Units (SI) is the joule (J). Common forms of energy include the kinetic energy of a moving object, the potential energy stored by an object (for instance due to its position in a field), the elastic energy stored in a solid object, chemical energy associated with chemical reactions, the radiant energy carried by electromagnetic radiation, and the internal energy contained within a thermodynamic system. All living organisms constantly take in and release energy. Due to mass–energy equivalence, any object th ...
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