The Transition dipole moment or Transition moment, usually denoted for a transition between an initial state, and a final state, is the electric dipole moment associated with the transition between the two states. In general the transition dipole moment is a complex vector quantity that includes the phase factors associated with the two states. Its direction gives the polarization of the transition, which determines how the system will interact with an electromagnetic wave of a given polarization, while the square of the magnitude gives the strength of the interaction due to the distribution of charge within the system. The SI unit of the transition dipole moment is the Coulomb-meter (Cm); a more conveniently sized unit is the Debye (D).
... The transition dipole moment is useful for determining if transitions are allowed under the electric dipole interaction ... For example, the transition from a bonding orbital to an antibonding orbital is allowed because the integral defining the transition dipole moment is nonzero ... Such a transition occurs between an even and an odd orbital the dipole operator is an odd function of, hence the integrand is an even function ...
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