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Polarization problem

  1. Nov 3, 2004 #1
    a hydrogen atom (with radius of one half angstrom) is situated between two metal plates, 1mm apart, which are connected to opposite terminals of a 500V battery. What fraction of the atomic radius does the separation distance d amount to, roughly? Estimate the voltage needed to ionize the atom.

    I understand that the battery will induce an electric field between the plates, which will cause the atom to become polarized. If this field is strong enough, then the electrons will be ripped from their orbits. What I don't know is how to go from the 500V to the electric field.

    someone shed some light on this, please :)
  2. jcsd
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