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Characteristic Size of an Atom

  1. Oct 29, 2012 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    There are a few problems I have with my HW that involve the characteristic size of an atom in a certain state. For example, the hydrogen atom in the ground state.

    2. Relevant equations
    -

    3. The attempt at a solution
    I don't know where to begin to find the characteristic size of an atom in a given state. My first thought would be to take the energy of the state and set it equal to the potential energy -Ke^2/r and then solve for r. However, alarms and bells are going off in my head doing this because this seems more like a classical method to find this so called characteristic size. Can someone push me into the right direction to find the characteristic size of an atom?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 30, 2012 #2
    Is my question too vague for any type of response? I can explain the problems more deeply if required. I don't need or want a direct answer to my problem. All I want is a little guidance.
     
  4. Oct 30, 2012 #3
    I guess modern physics can't describe the characteristic size of an atom. Thanks for absolutely no responses.
     
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