The hydrogen atom via the four-dimensional spherical harmonics

G.F. Torres del Castillo, J.L. Calvario Acócal


Using the fact that the Schrödinger equation for the stationary states of the hydrogen atom is equivalent to an integral equation on the unit sphere in a four-dimensional space, the eigenvalues, the eigenfunctions, and a dynamical symmetry group for this problem are obtained from the four-dimensional spherical harmonics and the group of rotations on the sphere. It is shown that the four-dimensional spherical harmonics separable in Euler angles correspond to solutions of the time-independent Schrödinger equation that are separable in parabolic coordinates.


Hydrogen atom; hidden symmetries; four-dimensional spherical harmonics

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REVISTA MEXICANA DE FÍSICA, year 67, issue 2, March-April 2021. Bimonthly Journal published by Sociedad Mexicana de Física, A. C. Departamento de Física, 2º Piso, Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Ciudad Universitaria, Alcaldía Coyacán, C.P. 04510 , Ciudad de México. Apartado Postal 70-348. Tel. (+52)55-5622-4946,, e-mail: Chief Editor: José Alejandro Ayala Mercado. INDAUTOR Certificate of Reserve: 04-2019-080216404400-203, ISSN: 2683-2224 (on line), 0035-001X (print), both granted by Instituto Nacional del Derecho de Autor. Responsible for the last update of this issue, Technical Staff of Sociedad Mexicana de Física, A. C., Fís. Efraín Garrido Román, 2º. Piso, Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Ciudad Universitaria, Alcaldía Coyacán, C.P. 04510 , Ciudad de México. Date of last modification, March 1st., 2021.

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