Effect of nuclear motion on the critical nuclear charge for two-electron atoms

King, Andrew W, Rhodes, Luke C, Readman, Charles A and Cox, Hazel (2015) Effect of nuclear motion on the critical nuclear charge for two-electron atoms. Physical Review A, 91. 042512. ISSN 1050-2947

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Abstract

A variational method for calculating the critical nuclear charge, Zc, required for the binding of a nucleus to two electrons is reported. The method is very effective and performs well compared to the traditional variational principle for calculating energy. The critical nuclear charge, which corresponds to the minimum charge required for the atomic system to have at least one bound state, has been calculated for helium-like systems both with infinite and finite nuclear masses. The value of $Z_C=$ 0.911 028 2(3) is in very good agreement with recent values in the literature for two-electron atoms with an infinite nuclear mass. When nuclear motion is considered, the value for Zc varies from 0.911 030 3(2) for that with a nuclear mass of Ne (the largest heliogenic system considered) to 0.921 802 4(4) for a system with the nuclear mass of a positron. In all cases the energy varies smoothly as $Z \rightarrow 0$. It is found that for the finite nuclear mass case, in agreement with previous work for the fixed nucleus mass system, the outer electron remains localised near the nucleus at Z = Zc. Additionally, the electron probability distribution is calculated to determine the behaviour of the electrons at low Z.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Life Sciences > Chemistry
Subjects: Q Science > QC Physics > QC0170 Atomic physics. Constitution and properties of matter Including molecular physics, relativity, quantum theory, and solid state physics
Q Science > QD Chemistry > QD0450 Physical and theoretical chemistry
Q Science > QD Chemistry > QD0450 Physical and theoretical chemistry > QD0462 Quantum chemistry
Depositing User: Hazel Cox
Date Deposited: 07 Jun 2016 14:29
Last Modified: 07 Mar 2017 09:03
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/61375

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