## Helix

• This problem is used in the following sequences
• assignment Charge on a Spiral

assignment Homework

##### Charge on a Spiral
Static Fields 2023 (2 years) A charged spiral in the $x,y$-plane has 6 turns from the origin out to a maximum radius $R$ , with $\phi$ increasing proportionally to the distance from the center of the spiral. Charge is distributed on the spiral so that the charge density increases linearly as the radial distance from the center increases. At the center of the spiral the linear charge density is $0~\frac{\textrm{C}}{\textrm{m}}$. At the end of the spiral, the linear charge density is $13~\frac{\textrm{C}}{\textrm{m}}$. What is the total charge on the spiral?
• group de Broglie wavelength after freefall

group Small Group Activity

30 min.

##### de Broglie wavelength after freefall
Contemporary Challenges 2021 (4 years)

In this activity students combine energy conservation with the relationship between the de Broglie wavelength and momentum to find the wavelength of atoms that have been dropped a given distance.
• assignment Spin Fermi Estimate

assignment Homework

##### Spin Fermi Estimate
Quantum Fundamentals 2023 (2 years) The following two problems ask you to make Fermi estimates. In a good Fermi estimate, you start from basic scientific facts you already know or quantities that you can reasonably estimate based on your life experiences and then reason your way to estimate a quantity that you would not be able guess. You may look up useful conversion factors or constants. Use words, pictures, and equations to explain your reasoning:
1. Imagine that you send a pea-sized bead of silver through a Stern-Gerlach device oriented to measure the z-component of intrinsic spin. Estimate the total z-component of the intrinsic spin of the ball you would measure in the HIGHLY improbable case that every atom is spin up.
2. Protons, neutrons, and electrons are all spin-1/2 particles. Give a (very crude) order of magnitude estimate of the number of these particles in your body.
• assignment Cone Surface

assignment Homework

##### Cone Surface
Static Fields 2023 (6 years)

• Find $dA$ on the surface of an (open) cone in both cylindrical and spherical coordinates. Hint: Be smart about how you coordinatize the cone.
• Using integration, find the surface area of an (open) cone with height $H$ and radius $R$. Do this problem in both cylindrical and spherical coordinates.

• assignment Potential vs. Potential Energy

assignment Homework

##### Potential vs. Potential Energy
Static Fields 2023 (6 years)

In this course, two of the primary examples we will be using are the potential due to gravity and the potential due to an electric charge. Both of these forces vary like $\frac{1}{r}$, so they will have many, many similarities. Most of the calculations we do for the one case will be true for the other. But there are some extremely important differences:

1. Find the value of the electrostatic potential energy of a system consisting of a hydrogen nucleus and an electron separated by the Bohr radius. Find the value of the gravitational potential energy of the same two particles at the same radius. Use the same system of units in both cases. Compare and the contrast the two answers.
2. Find the value of the electrostatic potential due to the nucleus of a hydrogen atom at the Bohr radius. Find the gravitational potential due to the nucleus at the same radius. Use the same system of units in both cases. Compare and contrast the two answers.
3. Briefly discuss at least one other fundamental difference between electromagnetic and gravitational systems. Hint: Why are we bound to the earth gravitationally, but not electromagnetically?

• group Heat capacity of N$_2$

group Small Group Activity

30 min.

##### Heat capacity of N2
Contemporary Challenges 2021 (4 years)

Students sketch the temperature-dependent heat capacity of molecular nitrogen. They apply the equipartition theorem and compute the temperatures at which degrees of freedom “freeze out.”
• assignment Gravitational Field and Mass

assignment Homework

##### Gravitational Field and Mass
Static Fields 2023 (5 years)

The gravitational field due to a spherical shell of matter (or equivalently, the electric field due to a spherical shell of charge) is given by: $$\vec g = \begin{cases} 0&\textrm{for } r<a\\ -G \,\frac{M}{b^3-a^3}\, \left( r-\frac{a^3}{r^2}\right)\, \hat r & \textrm{for } a<r<b\\ -G\,\frac{M}{r^2}\, \hat r & \textrm{for } r>b \\ \end{cases}$$

This problem explores the consequences of the divergence theorem for this shell.

1. Using the given description of the gravitational field, find the divergence of the gravitational field everywhere in space. You will need to divide this question up into three parts: $r<a$, $a<r<b$, and $r>b$.
2. Briefly discuss the physical meaning of the divergence in this particular example.
3. For this gravitational field, verify the divergence theorem on a sphere, concentric with the shell, with radius $Q$, where $a<Q<b$. ("Verify" the divergence theorem means calculate the integrals from both sides of the divergence theorem and show that they give the same answer.)
4. Briefly discuss how this example would change if you were discussing the electric field of a uniformly charged spherical shell.

• assignment Differential Form of Gauss's Law

assignment Homework

##### Differential Form of Gauss's Law
Static Fields 2023 (6 years)

For an infinitesimally thin cylindrical shell of radius $b$ with uniform surface charge density $\sigma$, the electric field is zero for $s<b$ and $\vec{E}= \frac{\sigma b}{\epsilon_0 s}\, \hat s$ for $s > b$. Use the differential form of Gauss' Law to find the charge density everywhere in space.

• assignment Diatomic hydrogen

assignment Homework

##### Diatomic hydrogen
rigid rotor hamiltonian angular momentum ground state hydrogen diatomic probability Energy and Entropy 2021 (2 years)

At low temperatures, a diatomic molecule can be well described as a rigid rotor. The Hamiltonian of such a system is simply proportional to the square of the angular momentum \begin{align} H &= \frac{1}{2I}L^2 \end{align} and the energy eigenvalues are \begin{align} E_{\ell m} &= \hbar^2 \frac{\ell(\ell+1)}{2I} \end{align}

1. What is the energy of the ground state and the first and second excited states of the $H_2$ molecule? i.e. the lowest three distinct energy eigenvalues.

2. At room temperature, what is the relative probability of finding a hydrogen molecule in the $\ell=0$ state versus finding it in any one of the $\ell=1$ states?
i.e. what is $P_{\ell=0,m=0}/\left(P_{\ell=1,m=-1} + P_{\ell=1,m=0} + P_{\ell=1,m=1}\right)$

3. At what temperature is the value of this ratio 1?

4. At room temperature, what is the probability of finding a hydrogen molecule in any one of the $\ell=2$ states versus that of finding it in the ground state?
i.e. what is $P_{\ell=0,m=0}/\left(P_{\ell=2,m=-2} + P_{\ell=2,m=-1} + \cdots + P_{\ell=2,m=2}\right)$

• assignment Scattering

assignment Homework

##### Scattering
Central Forces 2023 (3 years)

Consider a very light particle of mass $\mu$ scattering from a very heavy, stationary particle of mass $M$. The force between the two particles is a repulsive Coulomb force $\frac{k}{r^2}$. The impact parameter $b$ in a scattering problem is defined to be the distance which would be the closest approach if there were no interaction (See Figure). The initial velocity (far from the scattering event) of the mass $\mu$ is $\vec v_0$. Answer the following questions about this situation in terms of $k$, $M$, $\mu$, $\vec v_0$, and $b$. ()It is not necessarily wise to answer these questions in order.)

1. What is the initial angular momentum of the system?
2. What is the initial total energy of the system?
3. What is the distance of closest approach $r_{\rm{min}}$ with the interaction?
4. Sketch the effective potential.
5. What is the angular momentum at $r_{\rm{min}}$?
6. What is the total energy of the system at $r_{\rm{min}}$?
7. What is the radial component of the velocity at $r_{\rm{min}}$?
8. What is the tangential component of the velocity at $r_{\rm{min}}$?
9. What is the value of the effective potential at $r_{\rm{min}}$?
10. For what values of the initial total energy are there bound orbits?
11. Using your results above, write a short essay describing this type of scattering problem, at a level appropriate to share with another Paradigm student.

• Static Fields 2023 (6 years)

A helix with 17 turns has height $H$ and radius $R$. Charge is distributed on the helix so that the charge density increases like (i.e. proportional to) the square of the distance up the helix. At the bottom of the helix the linear charge density is $0~\frac{\textrm{C}}{\textrm{m}}$. At the top of the helix, the linear charge density is $13~\frac{\textrm{C}}{\textrm{m}}$. What is the total charge on the helix?