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Born-Oppenheimer approximation

The Born-Oppenheimer approximation is a technique used in quantum chemistry. Since the mass of the atomic nuclei is far greater than the mass of the electrons orbiting it, the positions of the nuclei are considered to be constant under this approximation. The motion of the electrons can therefore be considered decoupled from the motion of the nuclei, which leads to the elimination of several terms from the Schrödinger equation. This is a good approximation, and has become a foundation for the physical study of molecular systems.



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