“Light is the purest form of kinetic energy”.

If you are wondering about the relevance of this statement, it has been made because light has no mass and as such, it cannot exert a force upon a particle of matter.

Without an applied force, electrons cannot ‘jump’ into higher energy levels in the atom and this undermines the ‘absorb and jump’ concept of photon absorption and emission by electrons.

To develop an alternative explanation to the concept of ‘electron jumping’, we can progress by taking a different interpretation of Plank’s formula of E=hf, where E is the kinetic energy generated by light photons of a specific frequency passing through a unit area per second, f is the photon frequency in cycles per second and h is Plank’s constant.

The formula as above, is correctly applied in its role of measuring the flow of kinetic energy through a unit area, but it is a mistake to make the assumption that the photon frequency, f and the kinetic energy, E are linearly correlated. By interpreting the formula without its ‘time dimension’ and setting the frequency of a photon at ‘one quantum cycle’, then E becomes the kinetic energy carried by one ‘wave cycle’ of a photon and h is the measurement of the photon’s energy content.

The conclusion of this adaption of the formula is that every photon of light, whatever its frequency, carries exactly the same amount of kinetic energy and its magnitude is Plank’s constant.

If at this point, you think that this concept of each light photon carrying exactly the same ‘Plank quantum’ of kinetic energy, does not have any merit or described another way, the energy of a ‘single’ photon is independent of its frequency, then please don’t read on. Unless, of course, you are mildly interested in what the outcome of this concept might be.

If we follow the path that electrons do not make ‘energy level jumps’ in the atom, then the Plank ‘quantum of kinetic energy’ held by the incoming photon must somehow be ‘captured and stored’ by the electron, so that the electron becomes ‘energised’, but remains in its base energy state within the atom.

With physical vibration, rotation, angular momentum and spin reversals ruled out as requiring force, the remaining option for the retention of the photon is through a ‘capture process’, by which the photon is guided into a circling mode around the electron. This captured photon is now the cause of an electron turning itself into an ‘energised’ state.

An advantage for the electron of this ‘capture and store’ process, is that it more easily facilitates the photon’s release again and as no energy has been added or taken away, the wave length of the emitted photon will be exactly the same as that of the captured photon.

The ‘capture and release’ process explains why every atom’s absorption and emission spectra are located in exactly the same range of wavelengths on the Spectrum of Light and can include the wavelengths released from all the energy levels occupied by electrons.

Although the photon has no mass to eject an electron from its location within the atom, its presence adds to the electromagnetic field already present around the electron and in certain materials, for example: selenium and copper, the increased electromagnetic field is able to eject the electron out of the atom, giving rise to the photoelectric effect.

Every electron in the atom can capture and store a photon, but not any photon. The capture process can only occur, if the incoming wavelength of the photon matches the physical gap between the electron and its immediate neighbours in the energy bands above and below it. This enables the photon to circle its electron without impinging upon other electrons in the atom. If the wavelength of the incoming photon is too large, then it won’t fit the gap and will continue on its way. If it is too small, it will just pass straight through the gap without any interaction with the electron.

This perception of the kinetic energy of a photon as being constrained into a circular orbit around the electron, leads on a number of observations regarding the emission and transmission of light photons through media.

When a photon is released at the speed of light and in a straight line from its circular orbit around the energised electron, it translates its circular pathway into the familiar wave profile that we observe in light photons.

All light photons carry the same Plank quantum of kinetic energy, but the ‘higher energy’ gamma rays have the smallest circular diameter and the energy rotates more quickly, whereas ‘low energy’ radio waves have larger circular diameters and the quantum of kinetic energy takes longer to complete its circumferential pathway.

The movement of kinetic energy around the circumference of a circle, ensures that there is no loss of energy from the photon and this enables radiant energy to travel billions of miles through the vacuum of space without degradation from energy loss.

Whether this circulation of the photon's kinetic energy is in the nature of a single quantum ‘pulse of energy’, like a heartbeat or a continuous ‘flow of energy’, like a stream, is also interesting, but choosing one or the other is not an essential requirement of this photon ‘capture and release’ process.