Letter | Published:

Eigenvalues and Whittaker's Function

Naturevolume 120page117 (1927) | Download Citation



AMONG those who are trying to acquire a general acquaintance with Schrödinger's wave-mechanics there must be many who find their mathematical equipment insufficient to follow his first great problem—to determine the eigenvalues and eigenfunctions for the hydrogen atom. I do not think it is generally realised that Schrödinger's differential equation for this problem is one which is fully treated in a standard text-book, Whittaker and Watson's “Modern Analysis”, Chapter xvi. (I quote from the second edition). It would seem that advantage may be taken of this to make the treatment easier for English readers. I realise that the following is only a slight redressing of Schrödinger's method; but I think it will be intelligible to some who have been unable to appreciate the original, and that it gives a useful idea of the genesis of eigenvalues.

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