In the early decades of the 20th century, a large and convincing body of experimental evidence pointed to the fact that atomic particles share some properties of massive bodies and some properties of waves. The founders of the new mechanics of the microscopic world, in search of the appropriate equations for the description of what seemed then a very weird universe, turned to the equations of vibrating strings — material waves whose state and energy change in leaps with the number of nodes. There is a certain resemblance between the quantum mechanical Schrodinger equation and the classical dynamic equation of vibrating strings. This chapter discusses the fundamentals of quantum mechanics, dynamic variables, wavefunctions, operators, the Schrödinger equation and stationary states, hydrogen atom and atomic orbitals, approximate quantum chemical methods, evolution of quantum chemical calculations, dimerisation energies and basis set superposition error, and early experiences in quantum chemistry.
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