Title

Visualising many-body electron dynamics using one-body densities and orbitals

Document Type

Article

Publication Title

Molecular Physics

Department

Chemistry

ISSN

0026-8976

Volume

112

Issue

1

DOI

10.1080/00268976.2013.845311

First Page

1

Last Page

11

Publication Date

January 2014

Abstract

As experimental techniques begin to probe electronic motions in increasing detail, the need is arising for compact and informative visualisations of simulations of such processes. The inherent challenge is that a full many-electron wavefunction is a high-dimensional object, representing the complicated correlations of strongly repulsive bodies in a small molecular volume. A general procedure is needed to distill this to a smaller amount of information that does not rely on any specific level of approximation. The result should allow for easy and intuitive interpretation while drawing out nontrivial aspects of the underlying many-body dynamics, such as the complex phase information inherent of a nonstationary state. Current visualisation schemes based on physical observables or the qualitative information contained in simple wavefunctions, such as time-dependent configuration-interaction-singles (TD-CIS) and time-dependent self-consistent-field (TD-SCF), are discussed. This information is compared to an analysis based on the one-body reduced density operator (1-RDO), which is well-defined for general wavefunctions. It is seen that the distinction between two paradigms of many-body dynamics, electron transport and energy transport, is reflected in the coherences of a difference-1-RDO, or lack thereof.