Christoph Koutschan, Doron Zeilberger,
"The 1958 Pekeris-Accad-WEIZAC Ground-Breaking Collaboration that computed Ground States of Two-Electron Atoms (and its 2010 Redux)"
, in Mathematical Intelligencer, Vol. 33, Nummer 2, Seite(n) 52--57, 2011, ISSN: 0343-6993
The 1958 Pekeris-Accad-WEIZAC Ground-Breaking Collaboration that computed Ground States of Two-Electron Atoms (and its 2010 Redux)
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In order to appreciate how good we as mathematicians and scientists have it today, with extremely fast hardware and lots and lots of memory, as well as with readily available high-level software, both for numeric and symbolic computation, it may be a good idea to go back to the early days of electronic computers and carefully examine, as a case study, a problem that was considered a huge challenge back then, and compare notes. We chose C.L. Pekeris' 1958 seminal work on the ground state energies of two-electron atoms. All computations will be done ab initio with today's software and hardware, with a special emphasis on the symbolic computations which in 1958 had to be made by hand, and which nowadays can be automated and generalized.