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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How does one calculate the volume of a nucleus and the volume of an atom (in this case hydrogen)?

The hydrogen atom contains 1 proton and 1 electron. The radius of the proton is approximately 1.0 fm (femtometers), and the radius of the hydrogen atom is approximately 53 pm (picometers).
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Can someone explain the quote “there would be no chemistry if electrons acted as bosons”?

I am reading a book and in a quote it says that if electrons acted as bosons, then all the electrons would occupy the lowest energy state, and there would be no chemistry. What does the author mean ...
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what is a clock state?

What is a clock state in atomic physics ? I read this term here http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2708678/ and tried to find a reference to explain the same but have been unable to find this ...
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Can a particle accelerator really be constructed which can actually change the properties of a material (create a new kind of atom)? [on hold]

Can a particle accelerator really be constructed which can actually change the properties of a material (create a new kind of atom)? If not, what are some ways to create or synthesize a new atomic ...
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Database of experimental cross sections for atomic collisions

Does the atomic-physics community keep a comprehensive database of experimental data (cross sections) for atomic collisions? I am looking for data about Bremsstrahlung, ionization, elastic and ...
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Apparatus for generating plasma

I'm working on a project which involves superheating nitrogen to a state of plasma. I was considering using my Fusor, but this project has nothing to do with plasma, and I believe that there are way ...
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Is the Singlet state for Helium with 2 electrons symmetric rather than anti-symmetric as is meant to be for fermions?

I'm looking at two-electron Helium atoms where one electron is in the ground state (due to if it were in other states, it's de-excitation would simply lead to the ionization of the electron). The ...
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Equilibrium bond length (unit conversion problem)

For partially deuterated, diatomic hydrogen molecule I have a rotational constant calculated from rotational transitions in the molecule (transitions were given in $cm^{-1}$). $ B ≈ 44.4cm^{-1}$ I ...
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What happens to the velocity map image if the plane of polarization is not on the plane of the detector?

In an electron Velocity Map Imaging (in Velocity Map Imaging in general) it is required that the plane of polarization to be parallel to the plane of the detector (in other words, plane or ...
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Since electron clouds of different atoms repel each other, does that mean that touch is the feeling of electromagnetic repulsion? [duplicate]

Also when we rest our hand on an object does that mean we are effectively levitating because of the repulsion of the electron clouds?
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Atomic physics, determining levels and terms

In atomic physics I understand there a configurations, terms and levels. I think levels for instance appear because of spin-orbit interactions, so that terms are split. But I'm confused about the ...
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Why is it necessary to supply constant electricity to make a laser work?

As we know that in lasers there are excited atoms. When energy is provided in the form of light, heat or electricity to these atoms, these excited atoms after sometime go to a lower state of energy ...
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What is the largest atom with a reliable configuration-interaction (CI) calculation?

The simplest approximation for calculating the ground state of an atom is the Hartree-Fock approximation. To get accurate result for the ground state energy, one has to do configuration-interaction ...
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About sub-atomic physics and the models used

I sit true every sub-atomic particle can have a mathematical representation as a wave? Can an electron and a proton and a neutron be represented as waves? Regarding every theory about sub-atomic ...
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What happens when you use an electric field to match atom oscillations?

I've been thinking about this question for the last few days: "What happens when you either use an electric field or sound / light to match the frequency of the atomic lattice?" What would happen to ...
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1answer
223 views

Wigner Threshold law in Photodetachment and Photoionization

I am writing this question here because I have a problem in understanding the Wigner Threshold law in Photodetachment and Photoionization. The Wigner Threshold Law is given by: $\sigma$=$E^{L+1/2}$. ...
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Organisation in Periodic table [migrated]

Why We find big spaces left in the periods of the Periodic Table between H and He; Be and B, or Mg and Al? What is the logic of such organization of the periods?
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Are ultracold atoms only created by intelligent life?

Nature has particle accelerators that are far beyond our capacity, but occasionally I hear atomic physicists claim that they are able to make something that has never been formed in any natural ...
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72 views

Atomic physics - lattice energy

Question: Why is ionic lattice energy inversely proportional to the radius of the atom? Most heterogeneous covalent molecules are polar to some extent. The degree of polarity, or the dipole moment, ...
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Bohr/De Broglie simplfied model - joining orbitals

I understand that Quantum Mechanics has taken over and fully explains this but I'm struggling to understand in terms of the old model. Bohr's model as modified by de Broglie suggested that orbits ...
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Is fluorescence from a single atom/ion visible with the naked eye (e.g. in a strongly coupled trap or cavity)

I remember sitting in on a conference talk by a person (possibly Rainer Blatt) doing research with trapped ions (or single atoms strongly coupled to light in an optical cavity), and the person showed ...
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Does the definition of the SI unit “second” require that possible perturbation of primary frequency standards should be measured?

The definition of the SI unit "second" is stated as The second is the duration of 9 192 631 770 periods of the radiation corresponding to the transition between the two hyperfine levels of the ground ...
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Why is the water diamagnetic?

I checked using my permanent magnet that water is diamagnetic. But why is it like that? Does this have any important consequence for life?
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What happens to the nucleus energy when it decays?

When an atom decays into another atom, what happens to the potential energy of the nucleus ? I think it will get more negative because, in general, through fission and fusion an atom tries to get a ...
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58 views

Why is energy released during decay?

Why is energy released when an atom decays into another atom, even though no energy is added? What does the mass defect mean? Is it because a nucleus which decays is unstable (proton/neutron = 1)? ...
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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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How does quantum mechanics explain stability of electron orbitals? [duplicate]

According to classical physics, an electron orbiting the nucleus would emit electromagnetic radiation. Losing energy in that way, it would spiral into the nucleus and the atom would collapse. Quantum ...
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Why is the photoelectric absorption coefficient finite at the threshold frequency?

I mean the photoelectric effect of the hydrogen atom. It is weird. By the Fermi golden rule, the transition or absorption rate is proportional to the density of the final states. At threshold, the ...
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1answer
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is it possible to confine an atom in a container

Is it possible to confine an atom in a container for an indeterminate period of time? A possibly better way of phrasing the question: is it possible to block an atom from passing through an object?
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Binding energy of Helium and repulsion of protons

I've just done an exercise of computing the binding energy of Helium 4, which is around 27,43 MeV. Obviously the binding energy "compensates" for the repulsion between the protons due to their ...
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Selection rule $\Delta S=0$: Why does a photon not interact with an electrons spin?

When talking about selection rules in atomic physics, many books state that the photon interacts with the electrons angular momentum such that that $\Delta l=\pm 1$. Absorbed/emitted photons exchange ...
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Why aren't orbitals symmetric?

In an hydrogen-like atoms the orbitals are solutions to the Schrodinger equation suitable for the problem. They describe the regions where an electron can be found. So, why don't they have spherical ...
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1answer
87 views

Does O$^{2-}$ really exist?

In chemistry it is common sense that we have O$^{2-}$. But from a physical point of view, does O$^{2-}$ really exist as a negative ion? I mean, as an isolated ion. It is not apparent that a neutral ...
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28 views

Carbon 14 disintegration

When $\beta^-$ disintegration happens to a Carbon 14 atom, a neutron "turns into" a proton, and an electron is emitted. Therefore the result of the disintegration is a Nitrogen atom plus an electron ...
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mirror nuclei: accounting for the difference in mass between nuclei

I was wondering if anyone here could guide me in the right direction with respect to the following problem: two nuclei are considered mirror nuclei if interchanging the neutrons and protons turns one ...
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How is the number of electrons in an atom found?

I was wondering, what type of experiments were held to identify the number of electrons in an atom? (For example, how do we say that carbon has 6 electrons and magnesium 12.) I would like someone to ...
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The Interior of A Nucleon

Just like, in a Bohr model, the atom has a particular structure, what is it like inside of a Nucleon? Like, are there particular ways the quarks are arranged, and what about the binding energy that ...
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1answer
52 views

2s orbital wavefunction has non-zero probability at $r=0$? [duplicate]

The wavefunction for an electron within a hydrogen atom in the $2s$ state has the following wavefunction: ...
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1answer
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How does exciting an electron's surrounding electromagnetic field cause 'electron excitation'?

In more meaningful words than the ones above, how does adding energy to the EM field cause the electron to to change orbitals or oscillate in a different pattern.
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What keeps electrons in an atom from flying away or falling into the nucleus?

In atoms, what force or charge, etc. keeps electrons from flying away or into their nucleus? is there a kind of weak-force at work on the atomic scale? Note I am aware the electron positions are ...
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Is it possible that every single isotope is radioactive, and isotopes which we call stable are actually unstable but have an extremely long half-life?

I've read that tellurium-128 has an half-life of $2.2 \times 10^{24}$ years, much bigger than the age of the universe. So I've thought that maybe every single isotope of every single atom are ...
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Ignoring spin, what is its orbital magnetic moment of an electron in a hydrogen atom in the 2p orbital?

I know that a magnetic dipole moment is given by $$\mu=\frac e{2m}I$$ and that the angular momentum is $$\frac {m_jh}{2\pi}.$$ However, I have also seen that angular momentum $I$ is given by $$I=\frac ...
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What is wrong with the Bohr model?

What is wrong about the Bohr model? Many books say it is wrong but doesn't say why and I don't know why.
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Charge density of an atomic orbital

Chemistry textbooks on atomic orbitals typically start off with the concept of electrons (viewed as negatively charged point-particles) moving around the nucleus, attracted and bound by the Coulomb ...
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120 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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Intrinsic structure of electron

The electron contains finite negative charge.The same charges repel each other.What makes electron stable and why does it not burst? Is it a law of nature that the electron charge is the smallest ...
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Valence bond wavefunction of nitrogen

Could someone explain to me how one finds the valence bond wavefunction of an atom? Take nitrogen for example, I know both nitrogen molecules have a valence-electron configuration of 2s22p1x2p1y2p1z ...
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Why do lines in atomic spectra have thickness? (Bohr's Model)

Consider the atomic spectrum (absorption) of hydrogen. The Bohr's model postulates that there are only certain fixed orbits allowed in the atom. An atom will only be excited to a higher orbit, if ...
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How can 99% empty matter have solidity? [duplicate]

If a simple atom with electrons whizzing around constantly is 99% empty space, one would think any solid-looking matter was 99% empty space. How can 99% empty matter have solidity?
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Table of matrix elements of powers of r for radial functions in H atom

Im looking for some references here. I hope it is the right place to ask. I need to find a table of (or a formula from which to extrapolate) the matrix elements of the radial functions of the ...