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Excited States

Absorption of radiation occurs due to interaction of the alternating magnetic or electronic field with a permanent or induced electric or magnetic dipole in the irradiated medium. If visible or ultraviolet radiation is considered, interactions with the valence electrons of the species cause the absorption. Absorption of light excites the valence electrons from the highest occupied molecular orbital (HOMO) to the lowest unoccupied molecular orbital (LUMO). The electronic state of the species is changed. In contrast, the absorption of infrared radiation just causes transitions between different vibrational states in the same electronic state.


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