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Calculating avg distance from nucleus

by jaejoon89
Tags: distance, nucleus
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Oct15-09, 11:55 PM
P: 195
1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

Calculate the avg. distance from the Hydrogen nucleus for an electron in 2p.

2. Relevant equations

<r> = int[r^3 |R|^2]dr from 0->infinity

For Hydrogen 2p, R = (1/a)^3/2 (1/(2*sqrt(sigma))*sigma*exp(-sigma/2)

where sigma = r/a

3. The attempt at a solution

I get 1/4a^4 (24 a^5) = 6a but the answer's supposed to be 5a. (5a for 2p is supposed to be less than 6a, which is the avg distance for 2s.) What am I doing wrong??????
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Oct16-09, 12:35 AM
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gabbagabbahey's Avatar
P: 5,004
Quote Quote by jaejoon89 View Post
<r> = int[r^3 |R|^2]dr from 0->infinity
That's only true when the wavefunction is spherically symmetric. In general,

[tex]\langle r\rangle=\int_{\text{all space}}r|\psi(\textbf{r})|^2d^3\textbf{r}=\int_0^{\infty}\int_0^{\pi}\i nt_0^{2\pi}|\psi(\textbf{r})|^2r^3\sin\theta dr d\theta d\phi[/tex]

For Hydrogen 2p, R = (1/a)^3/2 (1/(2*sqrt(sigma))*sigma*exp(-sigma/2)

where sigma = r/a
That doesn't look quite right. Where did you get this from?

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