chapter  12
- Hydrogen Atom
Pages 26

The hydrogen atom is the simplest of all atoms consisting of proton of charge e and the electron of charge −e. It is a two particle system. A two-body problem can always be reduced to a one-body problem by choosing the center of mass coordinate and the relative coordinates. In the hydrogen atom the attractive force exerted by the proton on electron prevents it from escape. The potential energy V of the system is −e2/r where r is the distance between the electron and the proton. Suppose the nucleus is held fixed at the origin of coordinates. V (r) is independent of θ and φ, that is, insensitive to the direction of r and depends only on the scalar magnitude r. The potential energy remains invariant under rotation and is said to be spherically symmetric. Figure 12.1 shows V (r) as a function of r. In this chapter the hydrogen atom problem in threedimension is solved and momentum eigenfunction is obtained. The problem in D-dimension where D may be noninteger is analysed. The magnetic field produced by a hydrogen atom is worked out. Finally, the system in parabolic coordinates is discussed.