2 slow moving hydrogen atoms - distance to start interaction

  • Thread starter Buckeye
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  • #1
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At what distance do 2 hydrogen atoms (not ions) begin to attract each other?

No, this is not a homework question. I am 58.
 
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Answers and Replies

  • #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.
 
  • #3
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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.
 
  • #4
Vanadium 50
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That depends on how small an acceleration you can measure.
 
  • #5
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That depends on how small an acceleration you can measure.
Not sure. How about 1 m/s^2
 
  • #6
edguy99
Gold Member
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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.
Do you know any online references for the 1/r^6 calculation? Thanks
 

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