Runge vector(redirected from Laplace-Runge-Lenz vector)
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The Runge vector describes certain unchanging features of a nonrelativistic two-body interaction for which the potential energy is inversely proportional to the distance r between the bodies or, alternatively, in which each body exerts a force on the other that is directed along the line between them and proportional to r-2. Two basic interactions in nature are of this type: the gravitational interaction between two masses (called the classical Kepler problem), and the Coulomb interaction between like or unlike charges (as in the hydrogen atom). Both at the classical level and the quantum-mechanical level, the existence of a Runge vector is a reflection of the symmetry inherent in the interaction. See Coulomb's law, Quantum mechanics, Symmetry laws (physics)