Trapped electrons in the quantum degenerate regime

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A full strength Coulomb interaction between trapped electrons can be felt only in absence of a neutralizing background. In order to study quantum degenerate electrons without such a background, an external trap is needed to compensate for the strong electronic repulsion. As a basic model for such a system, we study a trapped electron pair in a harmonic trap with an explicit inclusion of its Coulomb interaction. We find the eigenenergy of the ground state, confirming earlier work in the context of harmonium. We extend this to a complete set of properly scaled energies for any value of the trapping strength, including the excited states. The problem is solved either numerically or by making harmonic approximations to the potential. As function of the trapping strength a crossover can be made from the strongly to the weakly-coupled regime, and we show that in both regimes perturbative methods based on a pair-wise electron description would be effective for a many-particle trapped electron system, which resembles a Wigner crystal in the ground state of the strongly coupled limit.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1508.00365
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2015


  • Condensed Matter - Quantum Gases
  • Quantum Physics


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