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Thursday, September 03, 2009
10:00 AM - 11:00 AM
CNLS Conference Room (TA-3, Bldg 1690)


Interpreting Quantum Density Functional Theory

Paul Lammert
Pennsylvania State University

This talk is a look at the foundations of density functional theory from an outsider's perspective --- mathematical, as well as philosophical, in a sense. Starting from an appealing formulation with some thermodynamic parallels, we examine natural basic questions of existence and well-behavedness. There are real difficulties, in principle, yet DFT as actually practiced does not reflect them. Some tinkering with the interpretation, namely coarse-graining, is suggested to give a mathematical theory which is provably well-behaved, and possibly more commensurate with actual practice.

Host: Cristiano Nisoli