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J Phys Chem A. 2007 Oct 18;111(41):10196-204. Epub 2007 Aug 3.

Generalization of classical mechanics for nuclear motions on nonadiabatically coupled potential energy surfaces in chemical reactions.

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Department of Basic Science, The University of Tokyo, Komaba, 153-8902 Tokyo, Japan.


Classical trajectory study of nuclear motion on the Born-Oppenheimer potential energy surfaces is now one of the standard methods of chemical dynamics. In particular, this approach is inevitable in the studies of large molecular systems. However, as soon as more than a single potential energy surface is involved due to nonadiabatic coupling, such a naive application of classical mechanics loses its theoretical foundation. This is a classic and fundamental issue in the foundation of chemistry. To cope with this problem, we propose a generalization of classical mechanics that provides a path even in cases where multiple potential energy surfaces are involved in a single event and the Born-Oppenheimer approximation breaks down. This generalization is made by diagonalization of the matrix representation of nuclear forces in nonadiabatic dynamics, which is derived from a mixed quantum-classical representation of the electron-nucleus entangled Hamiltonian [Takatsuka, K. J. Chem. Phys. 2006, 124, 064111]. A manifestation of quantum fluctuation on a classical subsystem that directly contacts with a quantum subsystem is discussed. We also show that the Hamiltonian thus represented gives a theoretical foundation to examine the validity of the so-called semiclassical Ehrenfest theory (or mean-field theory) for electron quantum wavepacket dynamics, and indeed, it is pointed out that the electronic Hamiltonian to be used in this theory should be slightly modified.


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