Atomic physics is the field of physics that studies atoms as an isolated system of electrons and an atomic nucleus. It is primarily concerned with the arrangement of electrons around the nucleus and the processes by which these arrangements change. This includes ions as well as neutral atoms and, ...

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What is the correct theoretical formula of the Hyperfine transition of neutral hydrogen (21cm line)

I found two different expressions to express the energy split of the Hyperfine transition of neutral hydrogen (21 cm line, HI) that are not equivalent, imo. from Wolfram: $$\Delta\ ...
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Book recommendation for atomic & molecular physics

What are some wonderful books about modern physics for a sophomore undergrad to learn atomic & molecular physics? Some easygoing books for a start up would go well.
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How is the formation of the first atoms related to the cosmic microwave background? [duplicate]

Common atoms formed when the universe finally got cool enough for electrons to bind with atomic nuclei around the year 380,000. From what I understand this shift in state from plasma to discrete atoms ...
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48 views

Can electromagnetic fields be used to deconstruct and reconstruct molecular bonds?

I was thinking one day and came up with a theory after reading about how scientists were studying anti-matter by using electro magnetic fields to separate matter from the anti-matter they made. It got ...
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90 views

Size of hydrogenic atoms

Positronium consists of an electron and a positron. By what factor is a positronium atom bigger than a hydrogen atom? The solution has been explained to me. The characteristic length when solving ...
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1answer
61 views

What do atoms really look like?

When considering the orbital model of the atom it seems like the shape of each orbital corresponds the shape that contains a volume such that there is a 90% chance of an electron being there. I also ...
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Measuring the coherence between degenerate atomic ground states [closed]

Given a 2-level atom with the degenerate ground state and excited state with $j_g =j_e =1/2$. Assume that initially the atom is prepared in pure state with all the population in its ground state. What ...
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calculating in atomic unit [closed]

Okay, so I want to calculate the movement of a charged particle interacting with an electromagnetic field. I know that the magnetic component is "c" times weaker then the electric one, but if I make ...
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4answers
75 views

Can an excited atom have multiple electrons in excited states?

For an excited atom, is it possible for the atom to be excited twice, having multiple electrons in higher energy levels than for the atom in its ground state? If it is indeed possible, what is the ...
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Why is the nucleus so small and why is the atom 99.999% empty space?

A nucleus consists of protons and neutrons. Both are extremely heavy compared to electrons. Then how come they are contained within an extremely tiny space? And why does the atom consist of 99.999% ...
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17 views

doppler cooling temperature limit

Wikipedia shows a heating effect that causes minimum temperature achievable in doppler cooling as: "The atom performs a random walk in momentum space with steps equal to the photon momentum due to ...
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23 views

Determining other energy levels from knowing just two excited states

Suppose you know just two energy levels, e.g. 3.6 eV and 4.6 eV, for an atom of unknown composition. Is this enough information to determine all excited states for the atom up to 18 eV?
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111 views

Why are atoms of the same element exactly the same?

Based on what we know about atomic structure all atoms have an electron density function which describes the uncertainty in the position of an electron. Thus theoretically 2 atoms of the same element ...
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1answer
75 views

Where does the energy within atoms come from?

Most kinds of energy I know about involve a finite measurement and are transferred. In other words, energy in the universe is finite and is not lost or gained but only transferred through space one ...
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3answers
43 views

Understanding spectral line of hyperfine transition

I was looking at the contents of the Pioneer Plaque and I pretty much understood everything that was there, but not the so-called "Hyperfine transition of neutral hydrogen". Looking mostly at ...
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35 views

Crystal field in Diamond

The crystal field effect occurs in ionic crystals and causes a splitting of the magnetic quantum levels of the cation. The magnitude of the splitting may be roughly computed by obtaining the potential ...
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1answer
21 views

Why is the atom loss rate enhanced at the Feshbach resonance?

At the Feshbach resonance, the scattering length is enhanced. But why is the atom loss also enhanced?
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25 views

Fermi's understanding of the Doppler effect

I am now reading the classic paper by Dicke, The Effect of Collisions upon the Doppler Width of Spectral Lines At the very beginning of the paper, Dicke said ''Quantum mechanically, the Doppler ...
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33 views

How does electron excitation work for the Bohr model with non hydrogen atoms?

I've seen a lot of explanations of electron excitation by photons in the Bohr model but they all use a hydrogen atom which only has one electron. How does the excitation work for atoms with more ...
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3answers
69 views

What evidence is there for quantum leaps?

I find this very strange that an electron can 'teleport' from one energy level to another. So what evidence suggests this?
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1answer
100 views

Why can't we run through walls like Harry Potter? [duplicate]

This is a very simple and stupid question but ever since I watched the first Harry Potter and saw Harry and his friends run through a wall at King's Cross Station I have wondered what keeps us from ...
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109 views

What is the most accurate experimental confirmation of Rutherford's $\sin^{-4}\phi/2$ law?

What is the most accurate experimental confirmation to date of Rutherford's $\sin^{-4}\phi/2$ law, where $\phi$ is the scattering angle?
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37 views

Lattice structure, Debye-Scherrer-Method

My question is: How can I find out what kind of lattice structure I have, with simply using the Debye-Scherrer method? One part of my exercise was to calculate the static structure factor for a fcc ...
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1answer
82 views

Orbital magnetic moment versus Biot-Savart law

In atomic physics, the fine structure of spectral lines assigned to atomic hydrogen has always been explained by considering an orbital magnetic moment of atomic electron. Still this concept is ...
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2answers
39 views

Is there such a thing as an interaction radius for molecules?

My question is about estimating the radius of influence between two molecules; picture some mixture, comprised of water, oxygen gas (in small concentrations) and a molecule we denote $G$. In the ...
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1answer
73 views

In how many possible ways can a photon be emitted?

I am currently studying atomic physics, and I encountered the question above. I am posting this question because I can't afford to move on with even the tiniest bit of uncertainty in my understanding ...
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38 views

Ritz Variational Method

I want to use the Ritz Variational method to find a good approximation ground state and ground state energy for the hydrogen atom. For that purpose I take two different ansatzes, do the machinery of ...
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40 views

How does an electron manage to constantly revolve around the nucleus of an atom forever? [duplicate]

When an electron revolves around the nucleus of an atom is it using any energy in doing so. If so, where does this energy come from and how does it be a constant source (the electron revolves ...
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Need verification: Hamiltonian formulation states that an atom is bounded to an eigenenergy state due to opposing kinetic and potential energy

I received an explanation from someone who said that electrons in an atom are trapped in an eigenenergy state $E_n$ as per Hamiltonian mechanics is because the KE and PE of the atom balances ...
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Does the energy of ground and/or excited states have uncertainty?

In this question about absorption of continuous energies by discrete atom states, one of the reasons given to explain the width of spectral lines is the uncertainty principle (natural broadening): the ...
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24 views

Electron orbitals and the circular membrane vibrations

I just stumbled across the fascinating analogy between electron orbitals and the fundamental waves of a circular membrane in Wikipedia. Now the weird and arbitrary looking orbitals don't look so ...
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1answer
93 views

Unknown magnetic moment of orthohydrogen

Conforming to present atomic physics, the two elementary particles in hydrogen atoms can have either parallel or antiparallel magnetic moments, and the energy differences between these two kinds of ...
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1answer
130 views

How did we come to know that electrons actually 'move' in an atom?

Rutherford's experiments confirmed the existence of light-weight electron clouds in a mostly empty atom, and that they occupy some space around the nucleus. What made us conclude that they can move? ...
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152 views

Quantum mechanics,and how the law $ΔxΔp≥ℏ/2$ explains the paradox regarding atoms [duplicate]

In Chapter 2-3,Vol I of the Feynman lectures, Feynman talks about a rule in quantum mechanics that says that one cannot know both where something is and how fast it is moving. That the uncertainty of ...
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28 views

Effects of pressure rate of change on the temperature of a fixed amount of gas

In Vol I,Chap 1-2 of the Feynman lectures on Physics,Feynman talks about how a change in pressure of a fixed amount of gas enclosed in a piston can cause its temperature to increase/decrease. He ...
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1answer
39 views

Deriving X atom from Y atom

I want to know that, is there a possibility of deriving an atom of one element from another element? I knew it is done in the Sun, by the process of nuclear fission. If so, why didn't scientists tried ...
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Interpretation of Orbital Magnetic Moment

The wavefunctions for atomic orbitals have always been described to me one of two ways: As a "smeared out" electron standing wave with integer number circumference of de Broglie wavelengths As a ...
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53 views

Hydrogen 2p3/2 -> 1s1/2 transition polarisation and angular distribution

Could you please help me. I have to calculate the intensity angular and polarisation distribution in hydrogen electric dipole transition $\text{2p}_{3/2}\rightarrow \text{1s}_{1/2}$. To do this I ...
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1answer
137 views

Charge on the remaining atom after Alpha decay

In radioactive alpha decay, a helium atom is shown to be released. However, I was told that only thing released is a helium nucleus. If so, then it should leave two of its electrons in the atom ...
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2answers
52 views

Magnetic quantum numbers - axes correspondence

We know that the magnetic quantum number describes the space orientation of an orbital within an atom. For the $p$-orbital, the magnetic quantum numbers can be -1,0,1 (one for every axis). We have ...
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2answers
139 views

Why are the quantum numbers $n$ and $\ell$ denoted with those letters?

We have 4 quantum numbers: principal, azimuthal, magnetic and spin (denoted $n$, $\ell$, $m$ and $s$ respectively). I assume $m$ and $s$ are simply the initials of 'magnetic' and 'spin'. Is there any ...
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3answers
146 views

Do electrons pop into and out of existence around the nucleus of an atom?

What surrounds the nucleus is the probability wave. But are the electrons constantly popping in and out of existence around the nucleus in the cloud?
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30 views

Gain of entropy

Can we really interpretate third thermodynamic law as unconditional gain of entropy of closed system? For example, when they separate U 235, they drive the mix on the pressure barrier, so heavier U ...
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1answer
78 views

Is it possible to single out a proton, electron, neutron?

I've read that it's nearly impossible to take a proton from an element. But if it's "nearly" impossible then it is possible to some degree. If this has happened, what is exactly the process of taking ...
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1answer
30 views

Dipole approximation in solids

I have seen the use of dipole approximation (where the extent of the wave function is assumed to be much smaller than the wavelengths of the transitions or that of the electromagnetic field applied) ...
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1answer
73 views

DFT Calculations, Atomic Ionization Potentials — Which Exchange-Correlation Functional to Use, to Preserve Koopmans' Theorem?

I have a program which can perform density-functional calculations for atoms, given a density functional. Of course the simplest form of exchange potential to use is one relevant for a uniform ...
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2answers
111 views

How do I calculate the most probable orbital an electron is in?

If I saw a snapshot in time of an electron near a proton (Hydrogen), then the electron can be in any orbital as long as it doesn't lie on a node of the wave function. So how would I determine which ...
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26 views

How to derive the electron dipole selection rule in coupled bases?

We need to find $| \psi_f \rangle$ fulfilling the condition that $$ | \langle \psi_f | \mathbf{x} | \psi_i \rangle |^2 \neq 0.$$ When using the uncoupled bases $| l,m,m_s \rangle$ I can derive the ...
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1answer
38 views

Should it really be called “valence *sub*shell”?

The Wikipedia article on electron shells states this, which I (a chemical layman) also always assumed: The electrons in the outermost occupied shell (or shells) determine the chemical properties ...
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What is the potential between two hydrogen atoms in the spin-triplet state?

Take the Born-Oppenheimer approximation. Assume the two electrons are in the spin-triplet state. How does the potential between two hydrogen atoms look like?