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Quantum Physics Notation

  1. Feb 28, 2009 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    Hi, I've been given a problem set and there is suddenly new notation that I've never seen. Can anyone shed any light on what this means:

    "Treating a0 as a parameter, write down the complete wavefunctions (including radial
    and angular parts) for the states 1s, 2s, and 2p (giving all three ml possibilities in the last

    2. Relevant equations

    3. The attempt at a solution

    I have no idea what the 1s, 2s and 2p mean. ml are the eigenvalues of the Lz operator, so I'm guessing 2p somehow corresponds to a state with l=1, as it says there are 3 m values, but other than that I don't know. Help!
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 28, 2009 #2


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    the first figure is n, the principal quantum number. n starts from 1.

    the letter is the L quantum number, from the eigenvalue of the L^2 operator: L(L+1). L starts from 0, and goes to n-1. It is convenient to have letters to these ones, since n is assigned by a number. The convention is:

    L = 0, s
    L = 1, p
    L = 2, d
    L= 3, f
    L = 4, g

    L is called the orbital quantum number, and now comes the part you understood, that m_L is eigenvalue of L_z with 2L + 1 distinct eigenvalues.
  4. Feb 28, 2009 #3


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