We show that second-order superintegrable systems in two-dimensional and three-dimensional Euclidean space generate both exactly solvable (ES) and quasiexactly solvable (QES) problems in quantum mechanics via separation of variables, and demonstrate the increased insight into the structure of such problems provided by superintegrability. A principal advantage of our analysis using nondegenerate superintegrable systems is that they are multiseparable. Most past separation of variables treatments of QES problems via partial differential equations have only incorporated separability, not multiseparability. Also, we propose another definition of ES and QES. The quantum mechanical problem is called ES if the solution of Schrödinger equation can be expressed in terms of hypergeometric functions Fnm and is QES if the Schrödinger equation admits polynomial solutions with coefficients necessarily satisfying a three-term or higher order of recurrence relations. In three dimensions we give an example of a system that is QES in one set of separable coordinates, but is not ES in any other separable coordinates. This example encompasses Ushveridze's tenth-order polynomial QES problem in one set of separable coordinates and also leads to a fourth-order polynomial QES problem in another separable coordinate set.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The work of G.S.P. was supported by the Dirección General de Asuntos del Personal Académico, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (DGAPA-UNAM) through Grant No. 102603 Optica Matemática and also SEP-CONACYT project 44845 and Proekto de PROMEP/103.5/05/1705/.