A solvable model for decoupling of interacting clusters

Artem G. Volosniev, Aksel S. Jensen, Nathan L. Harshman, Jeremy R. Armstrong, Nikolaj T. Zinner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


We consider M clusters of interacting particles, whose in-group interactions are arbitrary, and inter-group interactions are approximated by oscillator potentials. We show that there are masses and frequencies that decouple the in-group and inter-group degrees of freedom, which reduces the initial problem to M independent problems that describe each of the relative in-group systems. The dynamics of the M center-of-mass coordinates is described by the analytically solvable problem of M coupled harmonic oscillators. This letter derives and discusses these decoupling conditions. Furthermore, to illustrate our findings, we consider a charged impurity interacting with a ring of ions. We argue that the impurity can be used to probe the center-of-mass dynamics of the ions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number20003
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Physics and Astronomy


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