Uncertainty Principle and the lifetime of an excited state

  • Thread starter CRD_98
  • Start date
  • #1
3
0

Homework Statement


[/B]
Estimate the lifetime of the excited state of an atom whose natural emission line width is 3.00 × 10−4 eV.

Homework Equations



$$ \Delta E \Delta t = \frac{1}{2} \times \frac{h}{2\pi} $$
$$ \Delta E \Delta t = \frac{h}{2\pi} $$


The Attempt at a Solution



I think all I have to do is rearrange for Δt then sub in the energy given as ΔE, but I'm not sure when I use which equation above, the correct answer is using the second, but I thought the first equation was a more accurate improved version of the second?
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
319
64
Wikipedia favors the first of your two equations where delta is the standard deviation of the quantity. Using either formula, you only get an approximate estimate. I think most instructors would accept either answer.
 
  • Like
Likes mccoy1

Related Threads on Uncertainty Principle and the lifetime of an excited state

  • Last Post
Replies
2
Views
5K
Replies
16
Views
3K
Replies
2
Views
5K
Replies
0
Views
2K
Replies
1
Views
4K
Replies
0
Views
2K
Replies
1
Views
1K
Replies
1
Views
6K
Top