Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Eigenvalues of positions in atomic orbitals

  1. Mar 10, 2015 #1
    Let's take a hydrogen atom with a single electron. How many eigenvalues of position can it form (assuming you put it the atom in an x, y, z coordinate)? like 1 billion possible position eigenvalues? Is it continuous number like 1.1, 1.2, 1.3 or quantized? and either case, how many eigenvalues can it form, what's the formula to compute for it?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 10, 2015 #2

    jfizzix

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    the position eigenvalues (i.e., the number of possible position measurement outcomes) are continuous for any orbital. There is an uncountably infinite number of them (like the number of values between zero and 1).

    There is no formula to speak of to find the set of possible position measurement outcomes, since it's usually just all of them. What you can do is compute the probability density of a position measurement outcome, and that is the magnitude-square of the position wavefunction.
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2015
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook




Similar Discussions: Eigenvalues of positions in atomic orbitals
  1. Atomic Orbitals ? (Replies: 12)

  2. Atom orbitals (Replies: 57)

Loading...