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On the mathematical treatment of the Born-Oppenheimer approximation.

Abstract : Motivated by a paper by B.T. Sutcliffe and R.G. Woolley, we present the main ideas used by mathematicians to show the accuracy of the Born-Oppenheimer approximation for molecules. Based on mathematical works on this approximation for molecular bound states, in scattering theory, in resonance theory, and for short time evolution, we give an overview of some rigourous results obtained up to now. We also point out the main difficulties mathematicians are trying to overcome and speculate on further developments. The mathematical approach does not fit exactly to the common use of the approximation in Physics and Chemistry. We criticize the latter and comment on the differences, contributing in this way to the discussion on the Born-Oppenheimer approximation initiated by B.T. Sutcliffe and R.G. Woolley. The paper neither contains mathematical statements nor proofs. Instead we try to make accessible mathematically rigourous results on the subject to researchers in Quantum Chemistry or Physics.
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Contributor : Thierry Jecko <>
Submitted on : Wednesday, April 23, 2014 - 2:11:54 PM
Last modification on : Thursday, May 6, 2021 - 10:12:09 AM
Long-term archiving on: : Wednesday, July 23, 2014 - 12:00:31 PM


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Thierry Jecko. On the mathematical treatment of the Born-Oppenheimer approximation.. Journal of Mathematical Physics, American Institute of Physics (AIP), 2014, 5, ⟨10.1063/1.4870855⟩. ⟨hal-00803621v5⟩



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