Vibronic transition

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A vibronic transition denotes the simultaneous change of vibrational and electronic quantum number in a molecule. According to the separability of electronic and nuclear motion in the Born-Oppenheimer approximation, the vibrational transition and electronic transition may be described separately. The selection rule for electronic transitions is given by Koopmans' theorem, while that for vibrational transitions is described by the Franck-Condon principle.

Most processes leading to the absorption and emission of visible light, and therefore the colorful world around us, are due to vibronic transitions. This may be contrasted to pure electronic transitions which occur in atoms and lead to sharp monochromatic lines (e.g. in a sodium vapor lamp) or pure vibrational transitions which only absorb or emit infrared light.

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