# Homework Help: Eigenfunctions of Rigid Rotator

1. Aug 14, 2007

### genloz

1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
Two particles of mass m are attached to the ends of a massless rigid rod of length a. The system is free to rotate in three dimensions about the centre (but the centre point itself is fixed).

2. Relevant equations
(a) Show that the allowed energies of this rigid rotator are
E=(h-bar^2n(n+1))/(ma^2) for n = 0, 1, 2, ...
(b) What are the normalised eigenfunctions for this system? What is the degeneracy of the nth energy level?

3. The attempt at a solution
(a) I realise that this is related to the total angular moment (E=L^2/ma^2)... I'm just a little unsure as to how L^2 becomes (h-bar^2n(n+1)).

(b) I know that the degeneracy is 2n+1 for spherical harmonic based systems but I really am unsure how to work out the eigenfunctions and the steps to getting to that '2n+1' figure.

Thankyou very much!
1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

2. Relevant equations

3. The attempt at a solution

2. Aug 15, 2007

### malawi_glenn

$$E_{\text{kin}} = \dfrac{I \omega^{2}}{2} = \dfrac{I^2 \omega^{2}}{2I} = \dfrac{L^2}{2I}$$

I is moment of inertia.

Now if L operates on a eigenfunction, the eigenvalue is $$\sqrt{n(n+1)}$$ , where n is the quantum number for that pequliar eigenfunciton (its eigenvalue).

Last edited: Aug 15, 2007
3. Aug 15, 2007

### genloz

ok, thankyou... so I understand part (a), but how do I work out the normalised eignfunctions and the degeneracy?

4. Aug 15, 2007