Ground State Energy of Large Atoms in a Self-Generated Magnetic Field
We consider a large atom with nuclear charge Z described by non-relativistic quantum mechanics with classical or quantized electromagnetic field. We prove that the absolute ground state energy, allowing for minimizing over all possible self-generated electromagnetic fields, is given by the non-magnetic Thomas-Fermi theory to leading order in the simultaneous Z → ∞, α → 0 limit if Zα2 ≤ κ for some universal κ, where α is the fine structure constant.
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