Advances in Nuclear Physics pp 1-70 | Cite as

# The Nuclear Three-Body Problem

## Abstract

When one speaks of the three-body problem, the first characteristic that comes to mind is its “insolubility.” This describes the situation for the helium atom whose Schrödinger equation does not admit of an exact solution in the sense, say, of the corresponding hydrogen atom problem. The feature of insolubility thus is intimately associated with the very law of force—the Coulomb force—which so accurately describes the behavior of atomic systems. If this law were replaced by something simpler, say the harmonic oscillator force, insolubility would certainly not be a problem any more, though presumably more serious (physical) problems would arise. However, thanks to our better knowledge of atomic systems, this freedom simply does not exist. Therefore, the best the theoretical physicist can do with atomic three-body systems is to devise powerful approximation methods to obtain numerically accurate results for comparison with experiment. No one would seriously expect these methods, *by themselves*, to throw any new light over what is already known on the basic electromagnetic low of interaction which just happens to be too well established.

## Keywords

Spectator Function Schrodinger Equation Electromagnetic Form Factor Separable Potential Faddeev Equation## Preview

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