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Lyman Hydrogen splitting

  1. Mar 10, 2015 #1
    I have read that Lyman series of Hydrogen atom occur on the n = 2 level, and it is due to electron orbital coupling.

    Suppose I understand what is an electron-orbital coupling, and that one gets 3/2 and 1/2 total angular momentum for n = 2 level.

    But, from quantum mechanical derivation of the orbitals of Hydrogen atom, the energy level depends only on n quantum number, and that p orbitals caused by possible set of m numbers are degenerate.

    How total angular momentum causes energy splitting, if electron-orbital coupling is due to spin and angular momenta which are degenerate?

    Thank you.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 10, 2015 #2

    DrClaude

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    Staff: Mentor

    Relativity. The degeneracy is present in the non-relativistic Hamiltonian, where the only potential term is the Coulomb interaction. Spin-orbit coupling comes from a relativistic correction.
     
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