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Basic Atom Problem

  1. Nov 26, 2013 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    For an electron in an atom that is an l=2 state, find the smallest value of (L_x)^2+(L_y)^2.

    2. Relevant equations

    3. The attempt at a solution
    okay so L = (l(l+2))^(1/2)

    and that squared with l =2 would be 6h(bar)^2

    kind of running into a wall here..
    Or is it the maximum value of (L_x)^2 + (L_y)^2 occurs when (L_z)^2 is a maximum value? and L_z = m_l*h(bar).. which would have a maximum value of 4h_bar^2 so therefore L_x^2 + L_y^2 would be 2h(bar)^2?

    Ps I need to learn LaTex X_x
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 26, 2013 #2

    Simon Bridge

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    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    l=2 tells you the Lz state.
    How do the Lx and Ly states relate to that?
    Hint: conservation of total angular momentum.
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