Ma, ZQ (reprint author), Chinese Acad Sci, Inst High Energy Phys, Beijing 100039, Peoples R China.
A scheme for dealing with the quantum three-body problem is presented to separate the rotational degrees of freedom completely from the internal ones. In this method, the three-body Schrodinger equation is reduced to a system of coupled partial differential equations, depending only upon three internal variables. For arbitrary total orbital angular momentum l and the parity ( -1)(l+lambda) (lambda = 0 or 1), the number of the equations in this system is l + 1 - lambda. By expanding the wavefunction with respect to a complete set of orthonormal basis functions, the system of equations is further reduced to a system of linear algebraic equations.