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Calculating the state for Helium

  1. Nov 14, 2012 #1
    So, when dealing with the Hydrogen molecule (H2) we know each electron is antisymmetric since they're fermions
    i.e. [itex]\Psi_\_ = 1/\sqrt(2) * (\Psi_a(r1) * \Psi_b(r2) - \Psi_b(r1) * \Psi_a(r2))[/itex]

    and then similarly for the spinor such that the total state, [itex]\Psi\chi[/itex] is antisymmetric

    When you deal with atoms, like helim, we can approximate the state of the system as the product of hydrogen wave ([itex]\Psi = \Psi_a *\Psi_b[/itex]). But in doing so, aren't we assuming the electrons are distinct? Why not with that formula for [itex]\Psi_\_[/itex]
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 15, 2012 #2
    I think this is just the lowest order approximation in which ,interaction between the electrons is neglected.it is called 'independent particle approximation'.
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