Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

System of hydrogen atoms in an electric field

  1. Nov 15, 2007 #1
    Using the first order perturbation theory I will determine the probability of finding some atoms in a certain state. The electric field is directed along the z-axis. But i don't understand how this is done.

    Should I convert the hydrogen atoms state equations into cartesian coordinates or should I keep the spherical ones and just convert the electric field? Or is that necessary?

    Should I only regard the magnitude of the electric field or is the direction relevant?

    I am confused. :S
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 15, 2007 #2
    You're perturbing with an interaction of the form [itex]E\cdot \mu[/itex], where [itex]\mu=e*r[/itex] is the dipole moment for the electron relative to the origin of the Hydrogen atom (e is the charge of the electron and r is the vector pointing to the electron). With the electric field E in the +z direction, the dot product gives [itex]|E||r|cos\theta [/itex], where theta is the angle in spherical coordinates with respect to the z-axis, and |r| is the radial distance r in spherical coordinates.
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Similar Discussions: System of hydrogen atoms in an electric field