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The radial probability density for the hydrogen ground state

  1. Jun 4, 2013 #1

    ftr

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  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 4, 2013 #2

    DrDu

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    You can probe it e.g. using x-ray scattering.
     
  4. Jun 4, 2013 #3

    ftr

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    thanks. Do you know any reference please.
     
  5. Jun 4, 2013 #4

    Jano L.

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    Do you know some example? I heard that hydrogens are usually invisible in X-rays of periodic structures (metals, proteins), probably due to the fact that other atoms have much more electrons and re-radiate much stronger radiation which thus overshines the radiation due to hydrogens.
     
  6. Jun 5, 2013 #5

    ftr

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    It is quite strange, I asked this question for a particular reason I had, it turns out that the answer involves an experiment done only few days ago!!


    http://io9.com/the-first-image-ever-of-a-hydrogen-atoms-orbital-struc-509684901

    I am also surprised that there are a lot of people who know physics on PF (many seem to be professionals), but they are not aware of these basic issues.
     
  7. Jun 5, 2013 #6
    The momentum space distribution of molecular hydrogen has been determined by electron scattering spectroscopy:

    http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/ja00332a017?journalCode=jacsat

    This rather directly gives the Fourier transform of the r-space distribution. It is possible that atomic hydrogen has been studied by the same technique, but I suspect not, due to the difficulty of maintaining a pure flux of atomic hydrogen.

    Edit: Correction, it has been done for H as well - ref. on page 1 of the above article!
     
  8. Jun 6, 2013 #7

    DrDu

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    This is a popular article and you should not believe everything written in it. First you don't see the orbitals but at best the electronic density. The electronic density can be mapped accurately e.g. with high precision X-ray crystallography (also for compounds containing hydrogen), so it is certainly not the first time "orbitals" have been observed.
    I was thinking of X-ray scattering in the gas phase on hydrogen atoms. This is certainly demanding (as gadong pointed out it is difficult to create a flux of atomic hydrogen, but possible) and I don't know whether it has been performed. The experiment cited by gadong is very similar to my idea, only that it uses electron scattering and not x-ray scattering.
     
  9. Jun 6, 2013 #8

    ftr

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    The article is based on this paper


    http://prl.aps.org/abstract/PRL/v110/i21/e213001

    I guess they are saying that their measurement is "more" direct.

    All that aside, I still cannot find out if these experiments confirm the radial functions in the OP. I guess I will have to dig deeper on my own.
     
  10. Jun 6, 2013 #9

    epenguin

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    Excited orbitals?
     
  11. Jun 7, 2013 #10
    The transition probabilities for hydrogen are very well known and experimentally verified. The calculation for the transition probabilities are based on the dipole matrix for the orbitals, which depends on the radial wavefunctions.
     
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