Many-body problem

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This article is about the many-body problem in quantum mechanics. For the n-body problem in classical mechanics, see n-body problem.

The many-body problem is usually posed in quantum mechanics, as the question of solving for more complex problems than the hydrogen atom — for example, the chemistry of all realistic molecules.

"It would indeed be remarkable if Nature fortified herself against further advances in knowledge behind the analytical difficulties of the many-body problem."
- Max Born, 1960

The many-body problem may be defined as the study of the effects of interaction between bodies on the behaviour of a many-body system. One of the preferred methods for solving the problem is simply to ignore it, i.e., pretend there are no interactions present.

Another approach is the canonical transformation technique.

See also

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