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Fine structure of hydrogen

  1. Oct 28, 2012 #1
    Griffiths writes that the formula for the hydrogen energy levels taking fine structure into account "breaks the degeneracy in [itex]l[/itex]" but "still preserves degeneracy in [itex]j[/itex]." I'm confused by this, because the formula he gives (Eq. 6.67 in the textbook) depends on [itex]j[/itex]. How can the system be degenerate in [itex]j[/itex] if the energies depend on [itex]j[/itex]?
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 28, 2012 #2


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    Staff: Mentor

    "The system is degenerate in j" = "different states with the same j have the same energy"
    States with different j can have a different energy, even with the same l.
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