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.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physics and Astronomy(all)