It is established within the Thomas -- Fermi model that a bound state of a proton with a heavy atom should exist. On the one hand, the electrons of the atom screen the proton's field. This decreases the repulsion force between the proton and the nucleus. On the other hand, the attraction force between the proton and the electrons is directed towards the gradient of the electron density, i. e. towards the nucleus. For instance, for Z=80 both forces become equal at approximately 0.6a where a is the Bohr radius. The corresponding minimum of the proton potential energy is in the region of negative energies (attraction) that can be of the order of several tens of eV. We propose to call such a system a binuclear atom. In contrast to the molecules where a coupling with a hydrogen atom is due to an essential modification of one or several states of the outer electrons the formation of a binuclear atom is a result of collective response of the whole system of inner electrons to the screened potential of a proton that is well inside the electron system of the heavy atom. The variation of the wave function of each electron can be considered as a small perturbation. The bound state is formed as a result of joint action of a large number of perturbed inner electrons. The important problem concerning the accuracy of our calculation within the Thomas -- Fermi model is discussed.
- Pub Date:
- June 2006
- Physics - Atomic Physics
- 6 pages, 1 figure 1. 1. We have changed the title of the paper. 2. We explain whyt the Teller theorem is not applicable to our case. 3. We compare our paper with the papers where a bound state between a positron and an atom are considered. 4. We discuss the difference between the bound state considered in the paper and an ordinary moleculecontaining hydrogen. 5. We provide an explanation as to why in the present case one can obtain a bound state by perturbation theory. 6. We discuss the accuracy of our calculation. 7. Some references are added