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Homework Help: Estimate the E-field required to ionize Hydrogen

  1. Nov 1, 2016 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    Estimate the E-field required to ionize Hydrogen in a time comparable to the time taken for the electron to orbit the nucleus. (n=1 ground state) (hint: relate the required E field to the energy of a charged particle)

    2. Relevant equations
    F = mv^2/r (rotational)
    F = Ze^2/Kr^2 (Coulombic)
    F = eE (Lorentz)
    W = F.s ?
    3. The attempt at a solution
    I have calculated the time it takes for the electron to orbit the nucleus
    T = 1.52 x 10^-16 secs
    using the rotational force and then solving for v and plugging it in T=2pi r/v with r being Bohr radius.

    I'm just not sure what else to do? I can get an estimate just just equating the forces and solving for E but that doesn't take into account the time which is specifically asked for?

    Thanks in advance!
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 2, 2016 #2


    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    For what course is this? Electromagnetism or quantum mechanics?

    You would need an equation for ionization that includes time.
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