INTERACTIVE EXAMPLE© Copyright, Department of Physics, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign |
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## Energy StatesMore than one distinct quantum state of a system can be on the same energy level because energy is not the only measurable quantity that can be used to describe a state. For example, an electron orbiting a hydrogen atom has 8 states with energy -3.4 eV because of intrinsic spin, and angular momentum projections that do not affect the energy of the state. Here we consider the effect of such degeneracies (in a molecule) on the probability to find the molecule in a particular state.
The molecule can be in one of six states. It exchanges energy with a thermal reservoir
of other molecules at a temperature T. There is one state with energy E What is the probability that the molecule has energy E |