Selection rules (physics)
French, J. B. Formerly, Department of Physics, University of Rochester, Rochester, New York.
- Angular momentum and parity rules
- Forbidden transitions
- Molecular selection rules
- Further symmetries
- Related Primary Literature
- Additional Reading
General rules concerning the transitions which may occur between the states of a quantum-mechanical physical system. They derive in almost all cases from the symmetry properties of the states and of the interaction which gives rise to the transitions. The system may have a classical (nonquantum) counterpart, and in this case the selection rules may often be related to the classical conserved quantities. A first use of selection rules is in determining the symmetry classes of the states, but in a great variety of ways they may yield other information about the system and the conservation laws. See also: Quantum mechanics; Symmetry laws (physics)
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