# Triplet state wavefunction

1. Sep 2, 2009

### Amith2006

1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

# The triplet state in helium atom is represented by a symmetric spin wavefunction. Are all triplet states of an atom represented by a symmetric spin wavefunction or is this just in the case of helium atom?

# Fermions are represented by an anti-symmetric total wavefunction. So if a pair of electrons is in the triplet state, it will be represented by a symmetric spin wavefunction and an anti-symmetric space wavefunction because,

Total wavefunction= $$\psi$$(space) x $$\psi$$(spin)

it is said that an anti-symmetric spatial wavefunction implies a greater distance between the electrons when compared to a symmetric spatial wave function as in the case of singlet state. Could anyone please help me in understanding the whole idea behind this?

2. Relevant equations

3. The attempt at a solution

2. Sep 4, 2009

### javierR

Try plotting the spatial wavefunctions in the two cases, or find somewhere where they are already plotted.
The anti-symmetric spatial wavefunction means that there is a exp[r1-r2] appearing in the wavefunction instead of exp[-(r1+r2)] for electron 1 and 2. The wavefunction will then have minimal probability amplitude when r1 --> r2 so the electrons' expectation values are furthest from each other.