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I Visualizations of a hydrogen atom in an external electric field

  1. Aug 2, 2016 #1
    I'd like to see some 3D visualizations of what the wave functions of the electron and proton in a hydrogen atom would look like in different applied electric fields. Say, have a reference image at 0V, then images at various voltages where the wave functions look interesting or just illustrative of the overall effect. I'd prefer to see the wave functions of the proton and electron in different colors, translucent and overlapped in the same image for a given constant voltage.

    I've been looking around and I can't find anything like this. Have I just been using the wrong search terms?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 2, 2016 #2
    I'm not sure where you could find that data. Doing it yourself might not be a bad exercise.
     
  4. Aug 2, 2016 #3
    Is there some good software specifically designed for simulating and visualizing atomic wave functions using the Schrödinger and/or Dirac equations? I don't feel up to coding a numerical PDE solver and 3D visualization.

    Basically, if the answer to this and my original question is "no," then I'll be slightly unsatisfied, but I'll just jog off and try to forget I asked the question for a few months or years until people who code these things catch up.
     
  5. Aug 2, 2016 #4

    BvU

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    where does this desire come from ? what do you have in mind when you mention wave functions of the proton ?
    There are plenty pics of hydrogen atom electron wave functions at 0V, already pretty complicated. What do you expect to see in an external E field that is relatively very weak wrt the field from the nucleus ?
     
  6. Aug 2, 2016 #5
    Curiousity.
    A translucent 3D visualization of a probability cloud in a different color to the one for the electron.
    I suppose I expect to see some sort of polarization effect, where the proton+ electron system gets stretched more and more into a funky dipole the higher the voltage goes.

    I never said or implied that I only wanted to see the effect of external electric fields which are "relatively very weak wrt the field from the nucleus." I'd like to see the effect of various fields all the way up to a voltage just below what would be required to completely strip the atomic system apart.
     
  7. Aug 2, 2016 #6

    BvU

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    Did you ever have to solve the Schroedinger equation for the hydrogen atom ? The proton is at the center of mass.
    Do you know the relative size of the nucleus wrt the atom ?
    Do you know how strong the E field is in a hydrogen atom ?
    So a lot worse than when forming a hydrogen molecule ?
     
  8. Aug 2, 2016 #7
    Honestly, I just want to see some pretty pictures of this that someone trustworthy has told me are scientifically accurate. I have no intention of bothering myself with the details of solving the problem numerically.
     
  9. Aug 2, 2016 #8

    blue_leaf77

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    As long as what concern you are pictures, may be you can take a look at this paper.
    I don't have free access to that journal so I can only see the pictures from its online page and the authors do not present the picture as a 3D object as you may have wanted.
    I don't know if this paper has pictures or wavefunction or not but just in case you can also look at it.
     
  10. Aug 3, 2016 #9
    Unfortunately, that's not what I'm looking for yet. I'm stubborn enough that I'm likely to wait quite some time before returning to ask if there's a positive answer to my original question. I'm not sure how badly that reflects on my personal character, but there it is.
     
  11. Aug 3, 2016 #10

    blue_leaf77

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    Are you told by someone else that such pictures you are looking for do exist in the internet, or is it your own curiosity? If it's the latter, I wouldn't say no as there are tons of website you can check, but the odd for you to come across a website you are looking for is extremely small. You said you want
    that's a very specialized task for a college student, if there is, either it will be in a lab project, thesis, or scientific paper. I don't think there will be people who would go through all the trouble of solving the corresponding Schroedinger equation for different applied fields numerically only to upload it in the internet for others to see it.
     
  12. Aug 3, 2016 #11
    What does this thread have to do with college student(s)?
     
  13. Aug 3, 2016 #12

    blue_leaf77

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    Not the thread, it's the "visualizing the wave functions of the electron and proton in a hydrogen atom in different applied fields".
     
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