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Harmonic Oscillator Question

  1. Feb 25, 2012 #1
    Hello everybody,
    I was revising for my quantum mechanics course and I was wondering why when we approximate the bond of a diatomic molecule with a harmonic approximation we write the Van der Waals type of potential for the ground and excited states as positive? Here is a picture of what a V VS r diagram would usually look like. My question is why do we always let the potential acquire positive values instead of the generic form of a Van der Waals potential that would typically have both negative and positive values?
  2. jcsd
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