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Homework Help: Infinite Square Well and nucleons

  1. Dec 16, 2008 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    Twelve nucleons are in a one dimensional infinite square well of length L = 3 fm. Using a mass of 1 u. What is the ground state energy of the system of 12 nucleons in the well if all the nucleons are neutrons so that there can only be 2 in each state.

    2. Relevant equations

    3. The attempt at a solution
    E = n^2 h^2 / ( 8 m L^2) (infinite square well)

    I'm not really sure what to do... If I say that n = 1. Then I get 22.96 MeV.
    I know that because of the exclusion principle there will be levels from n = 1 to n = 6 with 2 neutrons in each level.

    I don't know exactly what they mean by ground state? I would have thought that means when n = 1, but in this case it doesn't seem to be the case. Or even 22.96 Mev / 12 nucleons, but that also isn't the answer.
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 16, 2008 #2
    Well, neutrons are fermions, so n can't only be 1 (Pauli exclusion principle). There have to be two neutrons in n = 1, two in n = 2, ... n = 6. Try working from here.
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