The mechanics of atoms is often divided into “structure” and “collision” problems. I view here “collisions” as including any nonperturbative excitation process or chemical reaction, more generally any transformation of the structure of matter. The independent particle model has proved extremely successful for describing and interpreting structures; in fact it is commonly regarded as the theory of atomic systems. This model has also accounted for optical transitions and for fast collisions, which can be treated as weak perturbations of atoms. Its scope and power have been extended by configuration mixing and other procedures.
KeywordsConfiguration Space Resonant State Rydberg State Ridge Line Weak Perturbation
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