Exact factorization of the time-dependent electron-nuclear wave function

Ali Abedi*, Neepa T. Maitra, E. K.U. Gross

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

354 Scopus citations


We present an exact decomposition of the complete wave function for a system of nuclei and electrons evolving in a time-dependent external potential. We derive formally exact equations for the nuclear and electronic wave functions that lead to rigorous definitions of a time-dependent potential energy surface (TDPES) and a time-dependent geometric phase. For the H2+ molecular ion exposed to a laser field, the TDPES proves to be a useful interpretive tool to identify different mechanisms of dissociation.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number123002
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Issue number12
StatePublished - 15 Sep 2010
Externally publishedYes


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