Born-Oppenheimer approximation


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Born-Oppenheimer approximation

[¦bȯrn ′äp·ən‚hī·mər ə‚präk·sə‚mā·shən]
(physical chemistry)
The approximation, used in the Born-Oppenheimer method, that the electronic wave functions and energy levels at any instant depend only on the positions of the nuclei at that instant and not on the motions of the nuclei. Also known as adiabatic approximation.
References in periodicals archive ?
The different response of the different vibrational levels within the same progression suggests breakdown of the Born-Oppenheimer approximation and/or the FC principle.
Although the Born-Oppenheimer approximation works well in most cases, it has "catastrophic consequencesc when it is used to describe the distribution of forces in certain molecules, Kanter and Vager say.
Tallahassee, says he doesn't plan to change his thinking about the Born-Oppenheimer approximation, which he uses in nearly all of his spectroscopic studies.
The overall credibility of the Born-Oppenheimer approximation will not be reduced, even if it is proven to be ineffective in certain instances, he adds.