Problem 9P

In the numerical example in the text, I calculated only the ratio of the probabilities of a hydrogen atom being in two different states. At such a low temperature the absolute probability of being in a first excited state is essentially the same as the relative probability compared to the ground state. Proving this rigorously, however, is a bit problematic, because a hydrogen atom has infinitely many states.

(a) Estimate the partition function for a hydrogen atom at 5800 K, by adding the Boltzmann factors for all the states shown explicitly in Figure 6.2. (For simplicity you may wish to take the ground state energy to be zero, and shift the other energies accordingly.)

(b) Show that if all bound states are included in the sum, then the partition function of a hydrogen atom is infinite, at any nonzero temperature. (See Appendix A for the full energy level structure of a hydrogen atom.)

(c) When a hydrogen atom is in energy level n, the approximate radius of the electron wavefunction is a0n2, where a0 is the Bohr radius, about 5 × 10−11m. Going back to equation 6.3, argue that the p dV term is not negligible for the very high-n states, and therefore that the result of part (a), not that of part (b), gives the physically relevant partition function for this problem. Discuss.

1.5 Describe the transformations that produce the graphs of g and h from the graph of f. Hint: If the number is on the outside and towards the right of the equation, the graph will move up or down (vertical shift). Describe the transformations that produce the graphs of g and h from the graph of f. Hint: If the number is on the inside (like in parenth