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Hydrogen molecules in a superstrong magnetic field: Excitation levels

Lai, Dong and Salpeter, Edwin (1996) Hydrogen molecules in a superstrong magnetic field: Excitation levels. Physical Review A, 53 (1). pp. 152-167. ISSN 1050-2947. http://resolver.caltech.edu/CaltechAUTHORS:LAIpra96

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Abstract

We study the energy levels of H2 molecules in a superstrong magnetic field (B≳10^12 G), typically found on the surfaces of neutron stars. The interatomic interaction potentials are calculated by a Hartree-Fock method with multiconfigurations assuming electrons are in the ground Landau state. Both the aligned configurations and arbitrary orientations of the molecular axis with respect to the magnetic-field axis are considered. Different types of molecular excitations are then studied: electronic excitations, aligned (along the magnetic axis) vibrational excitations, and transverse vibrational excitations (a constrained rotation of the molecular axis around the magnetic-field line). Similar results for the molecular ion H2+ are also obtained and compared with previous variational calculations. Both numerical results and analytical fitting formulas are given for a wide range of field strengths. In contrast to the zero-field case, it is found that the transverse vibrational excitation energies can be larger than the aligned vibration excitation, and they both can be comparable to or larger than the electronic excitations. For B≳Bcrit=4.23×10^13 G, the Landau energy of the proton is appreciable and there is some controversy regarding the dissociation energy of H2. We show that H2 is bound even for B≫Bcrit and that neither proton has a Landau excitation in the ground molecular state.


Item Type:Article
Additional Information:©1996 The American Physical Society Received 3 August 1995 This work has been supported in part by NSF Grants Nos. AST 91-19475 and AST 93-15375, and NASA Grant No. NAGW-666 to Cornell University and by NASA Grant No. NAGW-2394 to Caltech. D.L. also acknowledges the financial support of the Richard C. Tolman Research Fund in theoretical astrophysics at Caltech.
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:LAIpra96
Persistent URL:http://resolver.caltech.edu/CaltechAUTHORS:LAIpra96
Alternative URL:http://dx.doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevA.53.152
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:3353
Collection:CaltechAUTHORS
Deposited By: Archive Administrator
Deposited On:01 Jun 2006
Last Modified:26 Dec 2012 08:53

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