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Quantum Mechanics by Giorgio Parisi, Mauro Fortunato, Gennaro Auletta

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12

Hydrogen molecular ion

In this chapter we move from the atomic to the molecular problem, i.e. we try to understand how quantum mechanics, besides explaining the structure and stability of a single atom, is able to account for the existence and the dynamics of molecules, the smallest building blocks of matter that determine and maintain the chemical properties of macroscopic substances. Molecular quantum physics is the field that deals with these types of problems and constitutes one of the most beautiful and successful applications of the basic principles of quantum mechanics. It is also of enormous relevance, because it lays the foundations of a consistent theory of condensed matter.

Our aim here is only to present the basic framework ...

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