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ERIC Number: EJ938996
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Jul
Pages: 8
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0021-9584
The Scales of Time, Length, Mass, Energy, and Other Fundamental Physical Quantities in the Atomic World and the Use of Atomic Units in Quantum Mechanical Calculations
Teo, Boon K.; Li, Wai-Kee
Journal of Chemical Education, v88 n7 p921-928 Jul 2011
This article is divided into two parts. In the first part, the atomic unit (au) system is introduced and the scales of time, space (length), and speed, as well as those of mass and energy, in the atomic world are discussed. In the second part, the utility of atomic units in quantum mechanical and spectroscopic calculations is illustrated with examples. It is shown that the system of atomic units can greatly facilitate calculations and unit conversions. In addition, a number of topics that can be fruitfully treated with the au system, including photoelectric effect, hydrogen atom and different Rydberg constants, positronium atom, atomic mass unit, nuclear binding energy, nuclear reaction energetics, annihilation and mass-energy interconversions, femtosecond and attosecond spectroscopies, quantum-size effects, excitons in semiconductors, and so forth are presented and discussed. (Contains 1 table and 1 figure.)
Division of Chemical Education, Inc and ACS Publications Division of the American Chemical Society. 1155 Sixteenth Street NW, Washington, DC 20036. Tel: 800-227-5558; Tel: 202-872-4600; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A