Born-Oppenheimer approximation

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An adiabatic approximation used in molecular and solid-state physics in which the motion of atomic nuclei is taken to be so much slower than the motion of electrons that, when calculating the motions of electrons, the nuclei can be taken to be in fixed positions. This approximation was justified using perturbation theory by Max Born and the US physicist Julius Robert Oppenheimer (1904–67) in 1927.

Subjects: Chemistry — Physics.

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