In semiconductor physics, the band gap of a semiconductor is always one of two types, a direct band gap or an indirect band gap. The band gap is called "direct" if the momentum of electrons and holes is the same in both the conduction band and the valence band; an electron can directly emit a photon. In an "indirect" gap, a photon cannot be emitted because the electron must pass through an intermediate state and transfer momentum to the crystal lattice. The minimal-energy state in the conduction band and the maximal-energy state in the valence band are each characterized by a certain crystal momentum (k-vector) in the Brillouin zone. If the k-vectors are the same, it is called a "direct gap". If they are different, it is called an "indirect gap".