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General properties of the Foldy-Wouthuysen transformation and applicability of the corrected original Foldy-Wouthuysen method

Research paper by Alexander J. Silenko

Indexed on: 06 Feb '16Published on: 06 Feb '16Published in: Mathematical Physics



Abstract

General properties of the Foldy-Wouthuysen transformation which is widely used in quantum mechanics and quantum chemistry are considered. Merits and demerits of the original Foldy-Wouthuysen transformation method are analyzed. While this method does not satisfy the Eriksen condition of the Foldy-Wouthuysen transformation, it can be corrected with the use of the Baker-Campbell-Hausdorff formula. We show a possibility of such a correction and propose an appropriate algorithm of calculations. An applicability of the corrected Foldy-Wouthuysen method is restricted by the condition of convergence of a series of relativistic corrections.