Selection rules beyond the central field approximation

  • Thread starter znbhckcs
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I'm trying to figure out how to get the electric dipole selection rules for an atom with many electrons. In all textbooks that I've seen it's shown for Hydrogen, or in the central field approximation (which is, in some sense, equivalent to Hydrogen).

Obviously the central field approximation is necessary, but after you apply it, shouldn't you first take the residual interactions between the electrons into account before thinking about the electric field?
I mean, the energies of interactions are much larger (normally) than the magnitude of the field.

It would be great if you could mention some reference where I can read about this stuff.



What is important is the relative strength of the residual coupling with respect to the spin-orbit coupling.

A good source to understand this is


Science Advisor
I suppose, the only strict selection rules which apply to the general case are those for total angular momentum J.

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