1. Limited time only! Sign up for a free 30min personal tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Homework Help: Hydroxl Ion radius, binding energy and vibrational frequency

  1. Apr 7, 2013 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

    The Hydroxl Ion (OH-) may be considered as a bound state of O2- and a proton. Treating the O2- ion as a nucleus of charge +8 with the electrons homogeneously distributed in a sphere of radius b, determine approximately the position of the proton, the hydroxl binding energy and its vibrational frequency.

    2. Relevant equations

    Vibrational energies E=(n + 1/2)hbarω n = 0, 1, 2.....

    E = hv=hc/λ where v is the vibrational frequency

    3. The attempt at a solution

    This was a test question and I got 1/20 points on it lol. So my attempt was pretty futile. There may be different methods you can use to solve this problem. One of my questions is what exactly the binding energy is. I thought it would just be the ground state vibrational energy but I could be wrong.
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 7, 2013 #2


    User Avatar
    2017 Award

    Staff: Mentor

    The binding energy is the ground-state energy of the proton in the potential well generated by the oxygen atom (neglecting motion of oxygen and the influence of the proton on the electron distribution). It is negative.
    The (positive) vibrational energy has to be lower in magnitude than the binding energy, otherwise the molecule would break apart instead of oscillating.
  4. Apr 7, 2013 #3
    Ok well I'm still not sure how to go about calculating the binding energy then. I understand how to get the vibrational energy but the binding energy and the distance between the two atoms is still confusing me.

    I guess I know that the binding energy is at a minimum in potential energy which would correspond to the distance between the two molecules, but I just don't even know where to start. Help specifically on the math and calculations would be appreciated.
  5. Apr 8, 2013 #4


    User Avatar
    2017 Award

    Staff: Mentor

    I have no idea how you want to determine the vibrational energy without knowledge of the binding energy.

    I don't think you are supposed to solve the Schroedinger equation for that potential, so it is probably sufficient to calculate the minimum of the potential energy, using the given charge distribution.
    Do you know how the potential of a point-charge looks like? The potential of a sphere?
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?
Draft saved Draft deleted