Three-body problem in 3D space: Ground state, (quasi)-exact-solvability

Alexander V. Turbiner, Willard Miller, Adrian M. Escobar-Ruiz

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We study aspects of the quantum and classical dynamics of a 3-body system in 3D space with interaction depending only on mutual distances. The study is restricted to solutions in the space of relative motion which are functions of mutual distances only. It is shown that the ground state (and some other states) in the quantum case and the planar trajectories in the classical case are of this type. The quantum (and classical) system for which these states are eigenstates is found and its Hamiltonian is constructed. It corresponds to a three-dimensional quantum particle moving in a curved space with special metric. The kinetic energy of the system has a hidden sl(4, R) Lie (Poisson) algebra structure, alternatively, the hidden algebra h (3) typical for the H 3 Calogero model. We find an exactly solvable three-body generalized harmonic oscillator-type potential as well as a quasi-exactly-solvable three-body sextic polynomial type potential; both models have an extra integral.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number215201
JournalJournal of Physics A: Mathematical and Theoretical
Issue number21
StatePublished - May 2 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 IOP Publishing Ltd.


  • (quasi)-exact-solvability
  • hidden algebra
  • three-body problem


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