Success of SE simulations

  • Thread starter jostpuur
  • Start date
I've heard stories about how computer simulations can be used to deal with some quantum mechanical systems, that cannot be solved exactly (for example systems with 10, 20, or 100 interacting particles) even though the number of particles is small enough that some explicit solutions do exist in principle. However, it has not become clear to me how successful these techniques have been. For example, have the spectrum of some heavier atoms, or some molecules, been solved correctly purely from the theory?


All modelling is based on approximations, and the results are limited by the quality and applicability of these approximations, but some very good calculations have been made.

Note that for heavier atoms, the difficulty stems not only from the number of particles involved, but also from the fact that relativistic effects have to be taken into account. But there also, some good work has been done.

Want to reply to this thread?

"Success of SE simulations" You must log in or register to reply here.

Physics Forums Values

We Value Quality
• Topics based on mainstream science
• Proper English grammar and spelling
We Value Civility
• Positive and compassionate attitudes
• Patience while debating
We Value Productivity
• Disciplined to remain on-topic
• Recognition of own weaknesses
• Solo and co-op problem solving

Hot Threads