Thomas-Fermi and related theories of atoms and molecules

Elliott H. Lieb

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

606 Scopus citations


This article is a summary of what is know rigorously about Thomas-Fermi (TF) theory with and without the Dirac and von Weizsäcker corrections. It is also shown that TF theory agrees asymptotically, in a certain sense, with nonrelativistic quantum theory as the nuclear charge z tends to infinity. The von Weizsäcker correction is shown to correct certain undesirable features of TF theory and to yield a theory in much better agreement with what is believed (but as yet unproved) to be the structure of real atoms. Many open problems in the theory are presented.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)603-641
Number of pages39
JournalReviews of Modern Physics
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1981

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Physics and Astronomy


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