The Generator Coordinate Method in Molecular Physics

  • P. Van Leuven
  • L. Lathouwers
Part of the NATO Advanced Study Institutes Series book series (volume 57)


There are several reasons why a new method for the study of molecular properties might be proposed. According to some authors (Woolley, 1976; Woolley and Sutcliffe, 1977) there are inherent defects in the semiclassical theory resulting from the Born-Oppenheimer approximation. In the traditional method nuclei and electrons are treated unsymmetrically; the nuclei are considered as classical point charges in the initial stage of the theory. A number of concepts such as the energy surface and the molecular shape are introduced, the precise physical meaning and the theoretical consistency of which may be severely criticized. Although the complete adiabatic method yields an exact result in principle, in practice the nature of the convergence of the Born-Huang series and the complexity of the system of coupled differential equations to which it leads, seem to inhibit fruitful applications. Both of these aspects of the traditional molecular theory will be discussed elsewhere in this course.


Ground State Energy Trial Function Harmonic Approximation Adiabatic Approximation Molecular Physic 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1980

Authors and Affiliations

  • P. Van Leuven
    • 1
  • L. Lathouwers
    • 1
  1. 1.Dienst Teoretische en Wiskundige Natuurkunde, Rijksuniversitair CentrumUniversity of AntwerpBelgium

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