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Atomic Spectra

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Theoretical Atomic Physics

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Abstract

A precise theoretical description of the energies and other properties of atomic states in principle requires the solution of the N-electron problem discussed in Sect. 2.2 and Sect. 2.3 This is of course not possible in general, but a lot of work based on various approximate and numerical methods has, over the years, been quite successful in explaining important properties of atomic spectra qualitatively and in simple cases quantitatively, mainly in the region of low-lying states [LM85, CO80]. On the other hand, the description of the structure of an atom or ion soon becomes very complicated when several electrons are highly excited [Fan83, FR86]. The many-electron problem in the regime of highly excited states is in fact still largely unsolved today.

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Notes

  1. 1.

    These considerations still hold if the “shorter-ranged potential” falls off a little more slowly than required by (3.125), e.g. if it contains inverse-square contributions, lim r →  r 2 V sr(r) = const. ≠ 0. 

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Friedrich, H. (2017). Atomic Spectra. In: Theoretical Atomic Physics. Graduate Texts in Physics. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-47769-5_3

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