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Monte Carlo Optimization of Trial Wave Functions in Quantum Mechanics and Statistical Mechanics

Cornell University
Publication Date
  • Theory Center
  • Physics


This review covers applications of quantum Monte Carlo methods to quantum mechanical problems in the study of electronic and atomic structure, as well as applications to statistical mechanical problems both of static and dynamic nature. The common thread in all these applications is optimization of many-parameter trial states, which is done by minimization of the variance of the local energy or, more generally for arbitrary eigenvalue problems, minimization of the variance of the configurational eigenvalue.

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