New approach to the many-body problem

George J. Yevick, Jerome K. Percus

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The dynamical behavior of N interacting particles may be simplified by the introduction of 3N collective coordinates. A geometric interpretation of collective coordinates is described which is analogous to a type of random walk problem. Considerations on the validity of the transformation from ordinary spatial coordinates to symmetrical collective coordinates are discussed. The difficult problem of the boundary of collective coordinate space is touched upon. In the second half of the paper, the Lagrangian formulation for the dynamical problem is carried out by means of collective coordinates. Conditions for the equivalence of the physical Lagrangian and the collective coordinate Lagrangian are established. This leads to the problem of the Fourier representation of a potential by a finite number of terms. Finally, preliminary remarks on a modified Dirac δ function are presented.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1186-1191
Number of pages6
JournalPhysical Review
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1956

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Physics and Astronomy


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