Einstein coefficient

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The two energy levels and , the spontaneous emission (A) as well as the absorption (B 12 ) and the induced emission (B 21 ) are shown.

In Einstein's rate picture , the Einstein coefficients B 12 , B 21 and A 21 are used to calculate the spontaneous and stimulated (induced) emission and absorption. In addition to statistical physics u. a. used in spectroscopy and laser physics and was introduced by Albert Einstein in 1916 .

Einstein distinguishes three processes in the radiation equilibrium:

In the following we refer to the ground state as state 1 and the excited state as state 2. The probability of the three processes obviously depends on the number of atoms in the outgoing state. In addition, the stimulated processes depend on the occupation of the modes of the electromagnetic field ( spectral radiance ). Einstein introduced the coefficients B 12 , B 21 and A 21 as initially indeterminate proportionality constants , so that

  • the likelihood of absorption through
  • the probability of stimulated emission by and
  • the probability of spontaneous emission through

given is.

The increase in the number of particles in the ground state and the decrease in the number of particles in the excited state is then given by:

In thermodynamic equilibrium this sum is zero:

From the Boltzmann distribution we know that the occupation of the states is related to their energies as follows:

where they represent the weights of degeneracy .

Equating and resolving the spectral radiance yields:

By comparing coefficients with Planck's law of radiation or Rayleigh-Jeans law - in the latter case using the boundary conditions and a series expansion of the exponential function - the following relationships are obtained between the three Einstein coefficients:


If the states are not degenerate, then so is .

The lifetime of the excited state, i.e. the average time until an atom changes into the ground state through spontaneous decay without any external influence , is

The Einstein coefficient  A 21 is a substance-specific property of the transition and can be determined quantum mechanically with the help of the transition dipole moment.

The Einstein coefficients depend not on the temperature from. The temperature dependence of the energy distribution of the thermal radiation is instead a consequence of the temperature dependence of the occupation probabilities  N 1 and  N 2 , which is usually described by the Boltzmann distribution .

See also


  • A. Einstein : On the quantum theory of radiation . Physikalische Zeitschrift 18 (1917) 121-128; First printed in the communications of the Physikalische Gesellschaft Zürich 18 (1916)
  • Detailed derivation: H. Haken / HC Wolf: Atom- und Quantenphysik , 8th edition, Springer-Verlag, Berlin Heidelberg New York, 2004, ISBN 3540026215 , p. 59, limited preview in the Google book search
  • Walter J. Moore, Dieter O. Hummel: Physical chemistry. 4th edition, Walter de Gruyter, Berlin New York, 1986, ISBN 3-11-010979-4 , pp. 893-896