The multipole expansion of the polarization interaction between a charged particle and an electrically neutral object has long been known to be asymptotic in nature, i.e., the multiple expansion diverges at any finite distance from the atom. However, the multipole expansion of the polarization potential of a confined hydrogen atom is shown to be absolutely convergent at a distance outside the confinement radius, R 0, of the atom. The multipole expansion of the dispersion potential between two confined hydrogen atoms is also shown to be absolutely convergent provided the two atoms satisfy R > 2R 0, where R is the inter-nuclear separation. These results were established analytically using oscillator strength sum rules and verified numerically using a B-spline description of the hydrogen ground state and its excitation spectrum. � 2012 American Institute of Physics.