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Homework Help: Pauli exclusion principle

  1. May 7, 2012 #1
    The way I understand Pauli exclusion principle is: no two electrons can be of the same quantum state in an atom. But electrons from two atoms of the same element, let’s say hydrogen for simplicity, are in the same quantum state, is that right? That is what distinguished it from helium for example, different quantum states for electrons one atom, but the same of the two and more atoms of the same element which actually defines the element…Please correct me if I am wrong… Basically does the principle work for one atom as suggested by definition or for all atoms in the Universe as suggested by somebody...
  2. jcsd
  3. May 7, 2012 #2


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    Correctly it says that no two electrons can be of the same quantum state in a system of interacting elements. Yes, as everything in the Universe interacts with everything, in principle, there can not be two electrons in the same state in the world. But the energy difference depends of the strength of the interaction, so two free hydrogen atoms in two different vessels can have electrons of the same energy, at the same state, while a hydrogen molecule or a helium atom can not.

  4. May 7, 2012 #3
    Thank you for your answer.
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