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Homework Help: Find the possible states

  1. Mar 21, 2010 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    a) Enumerate the possible L and S for the [itex]2s2p3p[/itex] configuration.

    b) Find the possible L and S for the [itex]2p^23p[/itex] configuration.

    2. Relevant equations


    [tex]S=0 (Singlet)[/tex]

    [tex]S=1 (Triplet)[/tex]

    3. The attempt at a solution

    First of all, doesn't "enumerate" and "find the possible states" mean the same thing? In my previous courses, we've been asked to find all the possible states for a particular atom, like Boron (for ex., Griffiths Problem 5.12 b) which is simple enough, all I do is write down a table and start listing off the possible total angular momenta.

    But for part a), we are asked to enumerate [itex]2s2p3p[/itex]. To me this seems like there are three different electrons: the first has n=2,l=0 and the second n=2,l=1, and the third n=3,l=1. How would I go about doing this? I'm just confused that all. Can someone give me a push in the right direction?

    Thanks yall

  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 21, 2010 #2
    Well I too haven't seen a problem like that. But after reading it, I believe you are correct about it being 3 electrons each in a different n,l state. Just make the table as usual, and you don't have to worry about the Pauli exclusion principle since no two electrons can ever be in the same state for (a).

    Just be careful about (b) since the Pauli exclusion principle applies there.
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