Hydrogen-atom wave function

1. Dec 4, 2005

asdf1

why does it equal R(r)cita(cita)phi(phi)?

2. Dec 4, 2005

LeonhardEuler

Beforehand there is nothing that tells you it does before you solve the Shrodinger equation. It is just lucky that the problem falls into the class of differential equations known as "seperable equations". You know that it does equal $R(r)\Theta (\theta) \Phi (\phi)$ because it ends up working in the equation.

3. Dec 4, 2005

Staff: Mentor

Because the Schrödinger equation for the hydrogen atom (a partial differential equation in the three variables $r, \theta, \phi$ is separable into three ordinary differential equations, one for each variable.

4. Dec 5, 2005

asdf1

thank you very much!!!