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2 slow moving hydrogen atoms - distance to start interaction

  1. Oct 6, 2011 #1
    At what distance do 2 hydrogen atoms (not ions) begin to attract each other?

    No, this is not a homework question. I am 58.
     
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2011
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 6, 2011 #2

    alxm

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    Well, in theory there's no distance where that begins or ends; they attract at all distances since the electromagnetic force works at all distances.
    But the attraction drops off rapidly; in proportion to 1/r^6, where r is the distance.
     
  4. Oct 6, 2011 #3
    Guess I should have specified at what distance would acceleration be observed?
    I'm assuming the 2 hydrogen atoms will form a molecule at the end of the cycle.
     
  5. Oct 6, 2011 #4

    Vanadium 50

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    That depends on how small an acceleration you can measure.
     
  6. Oct 7, 2011 #5
    Not sure. How about 1 m/s^2
     
  7. Oct 11, 2011 #6

    edguy99

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    Do you know any online references for the 1/r^6 calculation? Thanks
     
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