Homework Help: Separation between lowest energy states

1. Aug 2, 2012

Flucky

Could somebody point me in the right direction on how to go about starting this question please? In need of some guidance on where to begin.

1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
Calculate the separation between the two lowest energy states for an electron confined in an infinite potential well of width 1nm.

2. Relevant equations
This is where I'm struggling, I have an equation but there seem to be so many variable within the equation. I'm not provided with any equations and this one is the only one I can find on the topic..

E = $\frac{η2n22}{2mL2}$

2. Aug 2, 2012

voko

Re: Separation between lowest NRG states

This is indeed the equation of it. What is your trouble with it?

3. Aug 2, 2012

clamtrox

Re: Separation between lowest NRG states

I guess that should read roughly $\frac{\hbar^2 n^2 \pi^2}{ 2mL^2}$. Don't mix the forum text symbols and latex, it won't work!

Anyway, do you know what the different symbols mean? You are given L; and h and m are certainly things you can look up somewhere.

4. Aug 2, 2012

Flucky

Re: Separation between lowest NRG states

Sorry for the delay I went for lunch.

I'm a little confused as there is only one length-related variable in the equation yet we are given, and asked for, another length (or does it simply mean the difference between energy values?).

Also what is η?

I'm trying to teach myself this topic and without guidance it's harder than I thought it would be, thanks for the input though you two.

5. Aug 2, 2012

voko

Re: Separation between lowest NRG states

What is asked for is indeed the diff between energy values. I do not know what literature you use to study the subject, but you could use this as a reference: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Particle_in_a_box

6. Aug 2, 2012

Flucky

Re: Separation between lowest NRG states

No idea there was a wiki article on it, much appreciated