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Hylleraas Symposium

The Hylleraas Symposium is a celebration of the achievements of Egil A. Hylleraas. His work on the helium atom in the 1920s confirmed the validity of quantum mechanics for many-particle systems and probably represents the first important use of computing in physics. 

Schrödinger equation

The Schrödinger equation is the fundamental equation of nonrelativistic quantum mechanics, governing the behaviour of all quantum systems. However, when the Schrödinger equation was published in 1926, it was only known to work for one electron, having been developed expressly to give a correct description of the hydrogen atom. A crucial test for quantum mechanics was therefore to apply the Schrödinger equation to more complicated atoms, containing more than one electron.

Egil A. Hylleraas

In 1929, the Norwegian physicist Egil A. Hylleraas (1898–1965) performed accurate calculations of the two-electron helium atom, obtaining ionisation potentials in full agreement with experimental values. His calculations not only confirmed the validity of quantum mechanics for more than one electron but also ushered in the area computational quantum mechanics.

Today, the Schrödinger equation is routinely solved for molecules containing hundreds and even thousands of electrons, using powerful digital computers.

Since the 1980s, the method of explicit correlation introduced by Hylleraas in the 1920s has been extended and adapted to systems containing many electrons. The legacy of Hylleraas is therefore today felt strongly in chemistry, where his methods and techniques are used for high-accuracy studies of molecules.

Read more about Egil A. Hylleraas.


The Hylleraas Symposium is a celebration of the achievements of Hylleraas, fifty years after his death. At the symposium, seven prominent quantum chemists, all of whom have contributed significantly to the development of explicit correlation, will present their work. All talks will be recorded and made available to the general community. For participation, please email Trygve Helgaker: t.u.helgaker at


Prof. Wim Klopper, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Germany

Prof. Andreas Köhn, University of Stuttgart, Germany

Prof. Peter Taylor, University of Melbourne, Australia

Prof. Seiichiro Ten-no, Kobe University, Japan

Dr. David Tew, University of Bristol, UK

Prof. Ed Valeev, Virginia Tech, USA

Prof. Hans-Joachim Werner, University of Stuttgart, Germany


Popular talk on the life and contributions by Egil A. Hylleraas by Trygve Helgaker.

Scientific committee

Prof. Jürgen Gauss, University of Mainz, Germany

Prof. Trygve Helgaker, University of Oslo, Norway

Assoc. Prof. Thomas Bondo Pedersen, University of Oslo, Norway

Prof. Trond Saue, University of Toulouse, France


The Hylleraas Symposium is organized jointly by the Centre for Theoretical and Computational Chemistry (CTCC) and the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters.

Published Oct. 21, 2015 12:45 PM - Last modified Oct. 30, 2015 1:33 PM