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An electron force field for simulating large scale excited electron dynamics

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  • Mathematics


We introduce an electron force field (eFF) that makes simulation of large scale excited electron dynamics possible and practical. The forces acting on thousands of electrons and nuclei can be computed in less than a second on a single modern processor. Just as conventional force fields parameterize the ground state potential between nuclei, with electrons implicitly included, electron force fields parameterize the potential between nuclei and simplified electrons, with more detailed degrees of freedom implicitly included. The electrons in an electron force field are Gaussian wave packets whose only parameters are its position and its size. Using a simple version of the electron force field, we compute the dissociation and ionization behavior of dense hydrogen, and obtain equations of state and shock Hugoniot curves that are in agreement with results obtained from vastly more expensive path integral Monte Carlo methods. We also compute the Auger dissociation of hydrocarbons, and observe core hole decays, valence electron ionizations, and nuclear fragmentation patterns consistent with experiment. We show we can describe p-like valence electrons using spherical Gaussian functions, enabling us to compute accurate ionization potentials and polarizabilities for first row atoms, and accurate dissociation energies and geometries of atom hydrides and hydrocarbons. We show also that we can describe delocalized electrons in a uniform electron gas using localized eFF orbitals. We reproduce the energy of a uniform electron gas, including correlation effects; and following the historical development of density functional theory, we develop a preliminary eFF that can compute accurate exchange and correlation energies of atoms and simple molecules.

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