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Quantum mechanics of hydrogen and many-electron systems

  1. Jul 1, 2012 #1
    I'm looking for the BEST and most COMPLETE book describing

    - The quantum mechanics of the hydrogen atom (working out completely the Schrödinger wave equation)
    - The quantum mechanics of many-electron systems (with a thorough explanation of the independent particle model, central-field approximation, Hartree-Fock method, Pauli principle, electronic configurations, structure of the periodic table)

    I know these are discussed in most introductory books on QM, but I am looking for a book that is putting most of the emphasis on these points, and takes the time to work out all calculations at an introductory level.

    Do you know of books that add to the above two points a group-theoretical analysis of many-electron systems ?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 1, 2012 #2


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    The "BEST and most COMPLETE" book covering those topics will not be at introductory level. If you are looking for a wide-ranged introduction into few-electron/many-electron physics, look up "Molecular Electronic Structure Theory" by Helgaker, Joergensen and Olsen.

    You are unlikely to find books covering hydrogen in all its glory and many-body physics in the same text, because the hydrogen atom is not very relevant in the context of treating molecules (or even other atoms).

    Group theory is only really used for spin, point groups, and space groups. In practice these are devices to speed up calculations or target individual states by symmetry, and are rather independent of the actual many-electron physics (i.e., to make anything out of those, you need to understand the many-electron physics in depth *first*).

    There is no general group theoretical approach to many-electron physics in general that I am aware of. That is mainly the case because many-electron systems often do not have symmetry (apart from spin).
  4. Jul 1, 2012 #3


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    Mendeleeff, A better place to ask this is the forum devoted to Atoms and Molecules!
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