XVIth International Workshop on
Quantum Systems in
Chemistry and Physics
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A sideways glance at the Born and Born-Oppenheimer approximations
Brian T Sutcliffe
Service de Chimie quantique et Photophysique,
Univ. Libre be Bruxelles,
1050 Bruxelles, Belgium.
The Born and Born-Oppenheimer papers are looked at again in the light of new approaches made possible by developments in mathematical techniques made since their original publication.

How these techniques may be applied to a diatomic system will be detailed but it will be explained why it is not possible at present to extend these techniques to a polyatomic system. It is concluded that in general the Born-Oppenheimer approximation cannot yet be regarded as securely founded mathematically.


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