### oscillator strength

**(f-value)**
(fraction expressing QM's contribution to the probability of absorption)

**Oscillator strength** (or **f-value**) is a fraction expressing the
contribution of quantum mechanics to the probability that a
particular atom absorbs a photon, thereby increasing its
state of excitation. Each transition has a unique oscillator
strength, e.g., that for the Lyman alpha transition is 0.416.

**Absorption cross section** and absorption coefficient are
other methods of characterizing the probability of absorption.
They incorporate the oscillator strengths associated with a medium's
chemical constituency, as well as the states of excitation,
states of ionization, etc.

(*physics,quantum mechanics,EMR,atoms*)
**Further reading:**

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oscillator_strength

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