Date of Award
Doctor of Science (PhD)
Chemistry and Chemical Biology
Paul W. Ayers
Randall S. Dumont, Alex D. Bain
ABSTRACT Approximating the kinetic energy as a functional of the electron density is a daunting, but important, task. For molecules in equilibrium geometries, the kinetic energy is equal in magnitude to the total electronic energy, so achieving the exquisite accuracy in the total energy that is needed for chemical applications requires similar accuracy for the kinetic energy functional. For this reason, most density functional theory (DFT) calculations use the Kohn-Sham method, which provides a good estimate for the kinetic energy. But the computational cost of Kohn-Sham DFT calculations has a direct dependence on the total number of electrons because the Kohn-Sham method is based on the orbital picture, with one orbital per electron. Explicit density functionals, where the kinetic energy is written explicitly in terms of the density, and not in terms of orbitals, are much faster to compute. Unfortunately, the explicit density functionals in the literature had disappointing accuracy. This dissertation introduces several new approaches for orbital-free density functional methods. One can try to include information about the Pauli principle using the exchange hole. In the weighted density approximation (WDA), a model for the exchange hole is used to approximate the one-electron density matrix, which is then used to compute the kinetic energy. This thesis introduces a symmetric, normalized, weighted density approximation using the exchange hole of the uniform electron gas. Though the key results on kinetic energy are not accurate enough, an efficient algorithm is introduced which, with a more sophisticated hole model, might give better results. The effects of electron correlation on the kinetic energy can be modeled by moving beyond the one-electron distribution function (the electron density) to higherorder electron distributions (k-electron DFT). For example, one can model electron correlation directly using the pair electron density. In this thesis, we investigated two different functionals of the pair density, the Weizsäcker functional and the March-Santamaria functional. The Weizsäcker functional badly fails to describe the accurate kinetic energy due to the N-representability problem. The March-Santamaria functional is exact for a single Slater determinant, but fails to adequately model the effects of electron correlation on the kinetic energy. Finally, we established a relation between Fisher information and Weizsäcker kinetic energy functional. This allowed us to propose generalisations of the Weizsäcker kinetic energy density functional. It is hoped that the link between information theory and kinetic energy might provide a new approach to deriving improved kinetic energy functionals. Keywords: Kinetic energy functional, Density functional theory (DFT), von-Weizsäcker functional, March-Santamaria functional, Thomas-Fermi model, density matrix, Twopoint normalization, Pair-density functional theory (PDFT).
Chakraborty, Debajit, "Computing the Kinetic Energy from Electron Distribution Functions" (2012). Open Access Dissertations and Theses. Paper 6591.
McMaster University Library