Einstein Coefficients

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Einstein Coefficients


coefficients that characterize the probabilities of radiative quantum transitions. The Einstein coefficients were introduced by Albert Einstein in 1916 in the course of his formulation of the theory of the emission and absorption of radiation by atoms and molecules on the basis of the concept of photons. Einstein was the first to advance the idea that stimulated emission existed. The probabilities of spontaneous emission, absorption, and stimulated emission are characterized by the coefficients Ati, Bik, and Bki, respectively, in which the subscripts indicate the direction of the transition between the upper energy level Ek and the lower level Ei. The relations between the Einstein coefficients were originally obtained by Einstein in the course of the derivation of Planck’s radiation law from the thermodynamic equilibrium between matter and radiation.


Einstein, A. “Ispuskanie i pogloshchenie izlucheniia po kvantovoi teorii.” In his Sobr. nauchnykh trudov, vol. 3. Moscow, 1966. Page 386.
“K kvantovoi teorii izlucheniia.” Ibid., p. 393.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.