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    Easy EPE Problem

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    An electron and a proton are initially very far apart (effectively an infinite distance apart). They are then brought together to form a hydrogen atom, in which the electron orbits the proton at an average distance of 5.41 x 10-11m. What is EPEfinal - EPEinitial, which is the change in the electric potential energy?

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    Solution Preview

    If you convert it to electronvolts you will get a potential well of -26.5eV.
    Remember that the ionization energy of the hydrogen atom is 13.6eV, and considering the virial thorem stating the the kinetic energy is half the potential well depth, and you will see that the energy needed to ionize the hydrogen atom is 13.28eV!

    Check out the virial thorem at:

    Note tht ...

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