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Quantum Numbers

  1. Mar 31, 2005 #1
    Hi i was wondering what quantum numbers can change the energy of a electron within a atom. I thought it would be n and l since its the energy and sub energy numbers, but i was wrong. Can someone explain it in some more deatail please?
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 31, 2005 #2


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    For the simplest of them all,the H atom,without taking into account hyperfine structure Hamiltonian and the Lamb shift due to the interaction to virtual photons,it's EITHER "n" (Schrödinger's theory) or "n" and "j" (the latter is the sum between "l" and "s") in Dirac's relativistic theory.

    The best analysis of the H & He atoms is found in [1],while in the general case,a good approach on atomic physics is found in [2].

    I don't know what u mean by "sub energy numbers.

    For a multielectronic atom,the problem of computing total angular momentum operator is not that simple.Read more in [3]


    [1]Bethe & Salpeter:"Quantum Mechanics of One and Two Electron Atoms"
    [2]R.E.Moss:"Advanced Molecular Quantum Mechanics".
    [3]Bransden & Joachain:"Atom's and Molecule's Physics".
  4. Mar 31, 2005 #3
    I think that is way above my level now, i'm only first year university dexter! :biggrin:

    Now my question was changing which of the quantum numbers will change the energy of the electron in the atom. I know that if you change the "n" number obviously the energy of the electron will change cause it has either been promoted or demoted to a higher/lower energy level but i was thinking if you change "l" the angular momentum number you should also change the energy of the electron as s,p,d,f subshells also have different energy levels as i'm led to believe! :confused:
  5. Mar 31, 2005 #4


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    Yes,i said that in the formula of energy levels (in Dirac's theory) "l" is included indirectly by means of "j"...So varying "l" means varying "j" and therefore changing the energy level.

  6. Mar 31, 2005 #5
    So in other words your saying sticking purely to shrodingers theory only "n" changes the energy of the electron?
  7. Mar 31, 2005 #6


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    That's right.


    P.S.No spin involved in SE,nor relativistic effects...
  8. Mar 31, 2005 #7
    Thanks dexter, this forum is always a great resource! :smile:
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