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1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

I'm given that a tritium atom, with one proton and two neutrons in the nucleus, decays by beta emission to a helium isotope with two protons and one neutron in the nucleus. During the decay, the atom changes from hydrogen to singly-ionized helium so Z doubles.

I need to findthe probabilities that the helium atom is in the ground state or the first excited state (2s) immediately after the decay;I'm given that the tritium was in the 1s ground state before the decay.

I'm also told to ignore spin.

2. Relevant equations

I'm given that since I need to calculate the constants multiplying the eigenfunctions of helium (see below), that I need to use [tex]<\psi_{n'l'm'}|\psi_{nlm}> = \delta_{n'n}\delta_{l'l}\delta_{m'm}[/tex] to do that.

3. The attempt at a solution

Well, to solve it, I need to write the ground state of tritium as a superposition of stationary states of He+, because the square of the absolute value of the constant multiplying a particular helium eigenfunction gives the probability that the helium atom is in that state after the decay.

The trouble is I don't know what the stationary states of He+ would look like.

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# Homework Help: Difficult problem dealing with stationary states of hyrdrogen

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