Degenerate Energy States

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The probability function is used to determine the energy of a system, which is based on the quantum numbers and , and varies as +. The plot shows how the probability function changes with different values of and . The total energy of the system is shown in the bottom‐left corner. Different values of and can be chosen to give the same values of . When different sets of quantum numbers lead to the same energy state, the system is said to be degenerate.

Contributed by: Douglas Kellis (Boise State University) (March 2011)
Open content licensed under CC BY-NC-SA


Snapshots


Details

Snapshots 1 and 2: two-fold degenerate states occur when different values of and produce the same energy level; in this case

Snapshots 3, 4 and 5: three-fold degenerate states occur when different values of and produce the same energy level; in this case



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