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Visualization of hydrogen atom wavefunctions Joan Adler, Joey Fox and Or Cohen

Summary: Visualization of hydrogen atom wavefunctions
Joan Adler, Joey Fox and Or Cohen
Physics Department, Technion, Haifa, Israel, 32000
Background: Sometimes students have problems understanding the structure
of the electronic densities of the wavefunctions of the analytic solution of the
Schroedinger equation for the hydrogen atom. Three-dimensional visualization
of the electronic density of the wavefunctions can help them gain insight.
Methods: We prepared animations of three-dimensional visualizations of
electronic density using an ``offlabel'' implementation of our AViz atomistic
visualization package. Three-dimensional visualization is always tricky. A
good way to view electronic densities is with ``smoke rendering'' where the
density of the ``smoke'' represents the electronic density. Coloured smoke,
with a change of color for denser regions is even more helpful, but we found
that a limited palette is clearer than a gradual change. We used
MATHEMATICA to calculate the wavefunctions, and then the densities,
divided space into volume elements, and then drew appropriate smoke for
each volume element by drawing randomly placed dots within the element
with the appropriate concentration and color.
Results: Details of the method and a comprehensive set of images are given
at http://phelafel.technion.ac.il/~joeyfox/Hydrogen/Hydrogen.html


Source: Adler, Joan - Physics Department, Technion, Israel Institute of Technology


Collections: Physics