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Bohr's Correspondence Principle

  1. Feb 29, 2016 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    (a) Show that in the Bohr model, the frequency of revo-lution of an electron in its circular orbit around a stationary hydrogen nucleus is f = me4/4ε02n3h3 (b) In classical physics, the frequency of revolution of the electron is equal to the frequency of the radiation that it emits. Show that when n is very large, the fre-quency of revolution does indeed equal the radiated frequency cal-culated from Eq. (39.5) for a transition from n1 = n + 1 to n2 = n.

    2. Relevant equations
    v = e2/2ε0nh
    r = ε0n2h2/πme2

    3. The attempt at a solution
    I managed to solve part (a). But for part (b), I'm not sure how to find the energy of the photon. I tried
    E = -13.6eV (1/n2 - 1/(n+1)2) which I expanded to get
    E = -13.6eV ((2n+1)/n2(n+1)2) but doesn't this tend to 0 as n approaches infinity? Since E = hf this implies that f tends to 0 as well? Does anybody know how to prove the relationship in part (b)? Thanks! :)
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 29, 2016 #2


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    That's the asymptotic value of ##\Delta E##, however the problem asks you to calculate the behavior of this quantity when ##n## is very large, therefore it must still contain ##n## in its expression. Consider incorporating the inequality ##n\gg 1## in the last equation.
  4. Feb 29, 2016 #3
    Hmm, if n >> 1, then the numerator 2n + 1 = 2n and the denominator n2(n+1)2 = n4. After simplifying this, I get the answer. But I'm still a bit confused; if I directly substitute n+1 = n (since n>>1) for the initial expression 1/n2 - 1/(n+1)2, won't I just get 0? :/
  5. Feb 29, 2016 #4


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    The proper way to go about this problem is actually by employing Taylor expansion. The exact equation of ##\Delta E## can be rewritten as
    \Delta E = \frac{13.6}{n^2}\left(1-\frac{1}{(1+1/n)^2}\right)
    Now since ##n\gg 1##, the second term in the bracket can be expanded into power series (or more accurately, binomial series),
    (1+1/n)^{-2} = 1-\frac{2}{n}+\frac{3}{n^2}-\ldots
    Truncating this series up to the second term and substituting it into ##\Delta E## will give you the same answer.
  6. Feb 29, 2016 #5
    Ohhh I see. Thanks so much! :)
  7. Mar 1, 2016 #6


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    I can't tell you anything about Eq. (39.5) as you didn't tell us what it is! But if it is just showing that you go to an inverse cubic relation for high n, then you have nearly done it in the OP - that expression does tend to inverse cube as n gets high (not needing anything so advanced is a Taylor series).

    And for your question doesn't f tend to 0, well it's Δf not f - and tending to 0 is exactly what it does do and is seen in the spectra - the lines get closer and closer together. Σ Δf is convergent, so there is a definite limit (corresponding to the escape velocity in classical physics) and the higher spectral lines crowd towards this.
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